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ONONDAGA  COUNTY, 


NEW    YORK. 


=WITH^ 


ilUnstralians  md  l|i0gra^Hical  ^ketchc^ 


t_^==0F^==2>_» 


SOME  OF  ITS  PROMINENT   MEN  AND   PIONEERS. 


>- 


By  PROFESSOR   W.   W.  CLAYTON. 


I=T7BX,XSHEX>     BIT     X).     MlJ^SOIfr     &     CO., 
Syracuse,   N".  Y. 


-1878.- 


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iro 


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Tiuair.  Smith  &  Bruce.  Printers.  .Journal  Otticf.  .Syr.uiisi'.  N.  Y. 


-^•^i ' .^    ^      'j'i;    ^       ^  '    ^' — ^"''-^i 


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F"iM 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


;  rortraits  of  Dr.  Elijah  Park,  and  wife. 
■    Cbas.  W.  Hoyt, 
"    Albert  Becker, 
Ilesidence  of  Jas.  Becker,  (with  portraits) 

'*  •'    Luther  Baker,  "  " 

I'ortrait  of  Joseph  Thomas, 

'•         "    Avery  F.  Palmer, 
Itesidence  of  Homer  Case,  (with  portraits) 
Portrait  of  Lewis  O.  Hill,    . 


PAGE 

between    360,  861 

.      "  360,  361 

360,  361 

360,  361 

facing      362 

between    363,  363 

362,  363 

362,  .'163 

facing      398 


facing 


between    366, 
366. 
facing 
between    368, 


MANLIUS. 
St.  John's  School  for  Boys, 

F.esidence  of  the  late  C.  E.  Sooville,  (with  portraits) 
r;esidence  of  Curtiss  Twitchell,  (with  portraits) 
"  '■    Mrs.  Ann  Mable,       " 

"  '■    Ambrose  S.  Uabie, 

^Id  Homestead  of  David  Collin,  (with  portraits) 
'esidence  of  Wm.  T.  Avery, 
Homestead  of  A.  H.  Avery.  Sr.,  and  residence  of  A.  H.  Avery, 

Jr. ,  (with  portraits)  .  between    368. 

Residence  of  Anson  Smith,  ....  facing 

"         ■"    Dr.  Judson  H  Graves,      ... 
''       and  Farm  Views  of  D.  W,  Grldley,  (double  page) 

between    Sro, 
Residence  of  Edward  French,  (with  portraits)  .  facing 

Church  of  the  Immaculate  Conception,  Fayetteville,  *' 

Kesidence  of  Chas.  II.  Cole.  I  with  portraits)    .  " 

"  ■•    the  late  Reuben  H.  Bangs,  (with  portraits) 

between    374. 


364 
365 

367 
•367 
367 


369 
370 
370 

371 
372 
373 
374 

375 


Residence  of  Myron  Bangs,  Fayetteville, 

'•    Ambrose  Clark,  (With  portraits) 
"  Wellwood.  "  residence  of  Sam'l  J.  Wells, 
Hotel  and  Residence  of  E  W.  Woodward',        '. 
Portraits  of  Seymour  and  Nancy  Pratt, 
"     Beach  and  Frances  Beard, 
"    Illustrious  and  Eunice  Remington, 
Residence  of  E.  A.  Coe,  iwith  portraits) 
of  Silas  Bell,  (with  portraits)   . 

DE  WITT. 
Portrait  of  Robert  Dunlop,  . 
Residence  of  Robert  Dunlop, 

Residence,  etc.  of  Warren  C.  Brayton,  (double  page) 
Residence  of  Vliet  Carpenter,  (with  portraits) 
Portraits  of  David  S.  Miller  and  wife, 

'•    Elbridge,  Emerson,  Julius C. and  Mason 
Kinne. 
Residence  of  Rufus  R.  Kinne,  (with  portraits) 
•    Seth  O.  Palmiter, 


.  POMPEY. 

Residence  of  David  Hibbard,  (with portraits) 

Portrait  of  Daniel  (iott, 

Portraits  of  Abraham  Northrup  and  wife. 

Homer  Case's  Monument,  Pompey  Cemetery, 

Residence  of  Ju.stin  F.  Gates, 

Portraits  of  Elijah  and  Maranda  Weston, 


PAOB 

between 

374, 

375 

facing 

376 

377 

377 

" 

878 

• 

378 

• 

378 

330 

fact 

og 

381 

between 

(386 

3«T 

" 

386 

387 

" 

388 

:i89 

facing 

3!(1 

39S 

a  P. 

between 

392 

393 

. 

393 

393 

318 

319 

facing 

395 

. 

395 

•■ 

398 

398 

" 

400 

400 

BIOGRAPHICAL  SKETCHES. 


General  A.  P.  Granger, 

Parley  Howlett. 

Oeorge  Stevens, 

William  Metcalf  Clarke 

Albdrt  G.  Salisbury.    . 

John  Wilkinson, 

Henry  Shattuck, 

Jascn  C.  Woodruff, 

Lyman  Clary.  M.  D.,     . 
••  Hon.  Joshua  Forman, 
■  General  Ellas  W.  Leavenworth, 

J.  M  Wieting,  M.  D., 

Lewis  H.  Redfield, 

Hon  Moses  Summers, 

Asa  White. 

Horace  White, 

Hamilton  White, 

Nathan  F.  Graves, 

Hon.  D.  P.  Wood, 

E.  F.  Rice, 

Hon.  Daniel  Pratt, 
Wili'/am  C.  Ruger, 
Hon.  Elizur  Clark. 
Cornelius  T.  Longstreet, 
John  (Jreenway, 
Sylvester  P.  Pierce, 
Major  William  A.  Cook, 
JohnCouse. 
Hon.  Peter  Burns. 
Horace  Bronson, 
Johnson  Hall,     . 
Captain  Oliver  TealU 
George  J.  Gardner,  Esq.. 
Major-Oeneral  John  J.  Peck 
Rufus  Stanton, 
Hon.  Vivus  W.  Smith. 
Hon.  D.^nnis  McCart^l.v, 
Henry  Giflfurd, 
Robert  Gere, 
Jacob  .\ino8. 
ma.  Ann  M.  T.  Rinitleld, 
Milton  H.  Nnrthtup, 
John  G.  K.  Truanr, 
General  John  E  His, 
Carroll  E.  Smith, 
Charles  Tallm  an. 
H.N.  White, 
Dwight  H.  Biuoe, 
B.  Burton, 


facing    140 

"        141 

"         142 

"       148 

■'       149 

between    1.50,  151 

facing    156 

"       160 

"       161 

162 

rth, 164 

'acing    166 

.    192 

.     193 

.    199 

.    199 

.    200 

.    201 

.    202 

. 

(acing    208 

,    212 

.    213 

,    213 

.    214 



acing    318 

"        222 

"        ^23 

2'i4 

22<i 

facing    230 

••       231 

.    234 

839 

facing    240 

a»i 

"       246 

247 

.    247 

.    248 

249 

.     250 

251  - 

251 

.     252 

.     255 

Hi 

facing    256 

.          .    257 

f 

acing    2t>2 

Miles  Adams, 

John  Paddock, 

W.  W.  Porter,  M.  D., 

Hon.  Abner  Chapman, 

John  F.  Clark, 

Leonard  P.  Field. 

Jeremiah  Everringham, 
i-Ephraim  Webster, 

Col.  Comfort  Tyler. 

Gen.  Asa  Dauforth, 

Gen.  Thaddeus  M.  Wood, 

Horace  Hitcbings, 

Moses  Fowler, 

Theophilus  Hall, 

Ellas  B.  Bradley, 

George  T.  Clark,  M.  D., 

W.  W,  Newman. 

Charles  Carpenter, 

George  Hall, 

Volney  King, 

Jared  W.  Parsons, 

A.  G.  Wyckoft,    . 

Theodore  E.  Clarke.      . 

Deacon  Jerathmael  Hunt, 

David  Chafee,  Sr., 

David  Chafee.  Jr.. 

Ransel  S.  Kenyon, 

Hon.  Dan  Bradley. 

Judge  Hezekian  Earll, 

Daniel  Kellogg, 

Benoni  Lee, 

Hon.  Luke  Rauney, 

Hon.  John  D.  Rhoades, 

CliauDcey  B.  Laird, 
James  Rodger.    . 
Titus  Merr^liiau,  M.  D.. 
Truman  K.  Wright, 
John  A.  Stevens, 
Ezekiel  Skinuer, 
Deacon  Isaac  Hill, 
Jacob  Halsted,    . 
Marvin  W.  Hardy. 
Judge  James  Geddos,  . 
John  C.  Munro,  Esq  , 
David  Munro. 
Robert  Hopkins, 
Enos  Peck, 
Sidney  H.  Cook, 
Bennett  Biothars, 
Daniel  Bennett, 


264 

265 

facing 

268 

272 

between    272 

,  273 

272 

,  273 

facing 

273 

272 

272  —        / 

.273--/ 

274 

facing 

•274 

between    274 

275 

274 

275 

facing 

275 

'• 

276 

between    276,277 

276 

, -OT 

278 

.279 

facing 

279 

m 

281 

282 

282 

582 

between    282,  283 

facing 

283 

284 

between    288 

389- 

289 

297 

facing 

30O 

between    300 

:J01 

•        "         .300 

mt 

facing 

303 

.303 

*■ 

304 

between    .304 

305 

3(M 

.305 

facing 

305 

306 

" 

307 

308 

facing 

309 

" 

309 

" 

310 

*' 

311 

facing 

312 

314 

between    312. 

313 

IV 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


Jonathan  White, 
B.  B.  Schenck,  M.  T>. 
Lyman  Norton, . 
Dr.  J.  E.  Bilts.  . 
Juilge  Otis  Bigelow. 
WilBoii  Family, 
FrcJerick  W.  Fenner. 
John  Halsteil, 
John  Van  Derveer, 
Harvey  H.  Rtiss, 
Henry  Datoll. 
Horace  B.  Bingham. 
Moses  Wormuth, 
George  Eoker,     . 
Nathaniel  Cornell, 
Russel  Foster,    . 
Col.  Qabriel  Tappai: 
Stewart  Scott,    . 
Moseley  Dunham, 
French  Falrchild, 
Samnel  Emmons, 
Hon.  Asa  Eastwood. 
Oreamus  Johnson, 
Isaac  Connley.    . 
M.  H   BIynn,  M.  D., 
Capt.  Valentine  Dunham, 
David  H.  Hoyt. 
Samuel  H.  Stanton, 
I.  Tyler  Frisbie, 
Willis  C.  Pish,    . 
George  W.  Card, 
Alfred  J.  Xiles, 
James  L.  Niles, 
James  H.  Kedway, 
Warren  Kinney, 
Myron  Hillyer, 
Hon.  Samnel  Willis, 


PAOE 

facing      313 

between    318.  319 

320,  321 

fai'ing      331 

$S 

'■■a 

■!43 

)■» 

:a5 

between    3-2»,  32S 

"         328.  .389 

3:J0 

:ao 

■m 

■!3J 

:!3I 

■m 
m 

387 

facing     340 

between    340,  341 

340,  341 

facing    .341 

between    342,  343 

.343 

!M3 

3-17 

351 

:m 

352 

352 

.)62 

.W3 

.■)M 

!54 

between    .■i5tf.  357 


Dr.  Elijah  Park, 

COarles  W.  Hoyt, 

Albert  Becker. 

James  Becker, 

Joseph  Tbi'mas, 

Avery  F.  Palmer, 

Luther  Baker, 

Morris  Baker. 

Homer  Ca!^e. 

Reuben  B.  Bangs, 

Ambrose  Clark, 

David  llibhard, 

Samuel  J.  Wells, 

Judson  H    Graves,  M.D.. 

Charles  M.  Cole", 

C.  E,  Scoville, 

Allen  H.  Avery, 

J.  Beach  Beard. 

Edward  French. 

Eli  A.  Coe, 

David  Collin,  Sr  , 

Silas  Bell, 

B.  W.  Woodward, 

Robert  Dunlop, 

Rufus  K.  Kinne, 

Vllet  Carpenter, 

Dairy  Farm  of  W.  C.  Brayton, 

David  S.  Miller, 

The  Kinne  Family, 

Doniel  Gott, 

Dr.  Hezekiah  Clarke. 

Elijah  Weston. 

Abraham  Northrup,  .... 

MISCELLANEOUS. 
Roster  of  Soldiers,  .... 

List  of  Citizens  who  assisted  in  the  publication  of 
of  Onondaga  County  with  Personals, 


between 


PJtCB  1 

3«i', 


360, 
360,  Sfil 
360,36: 
Sfid,  36t 
363,  36;1 
362,  36> 
3«S! 


37  1 


17.'. 

^.77 

37V 

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;1T^ 
31!. 

:v^) 

;if.ii 

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between 

386,  3(-7 

3>ll 

m 

393 

fac 

ng    392 

m 

faciap    SBB 

40:) 

401 

404 

.       405 

the  History 

4n 

INTRODL'CTION. 


tempting  to  compile  a  History  of  Onondaga 

the  writer  is  well  aware  of  the  interest  and 

•H'ect   botV    to  the  historian 

.iciaga  has  always  been  a 

in  the  prehistoric  period,  before 

:ni.  ui    .he  white  man  to  its  territory,  it  was 

re  of  a  great  Indian  Confederacy— that  of 

-lois  or  Five  Nations— and  when  the  Jesuit 

.o.>;.    ries  penetrated  the  solitudes  of  its  forests, 

it    becan.c    I'ne    theatre   61    events   in    which    the 

two    leading    nations  of    Europe   became   directly 

it.terested. 

The  French  and  the  English  began  the  coloniza- 
tion of  North  America  at  nearly  the  same  period. 
The  jea!(  nsies  and  rivalries  which  had  long  made 
them  lies    in    the    Old    World    were    trans- 

planted ie  New  Continent.     The  French,  by 

settling  0  St.  Lawrence,  whose  waters  head  in 

the  great  '         if  the  Northwest,  within  a  few  miles 
of  the  triL  s  of  the  Mississippi,  which  f^ows 

across  half  -jntinent  to  the  Gulf  of  Mexico, 

had   the  ad  of  the    most  direct  means  of 

access  to  lli        _.  .'Jf  the  cou'n.iy,  and  to  the  rich 
nificent  valleys  and  prairies  of  the  Great 
.n  a  few  years  they  had  ascended  the  St. 
e  to  the  Upper  Lakes  ;  had  crossed  over  to 
sissippi    and   descended  it  to  the  Gulf  of 
,  they  had  explored  the  vast  fertile  regions 
tht  Alleghanies  and  Texas,  and    visited 
every  tribe  from  the  Gulf  of  St.  Lawrence  to  Mobile 
Bay. 

The  French  avowed  the  deliberate  purpose  of 
keeping  the  English  out  of  all  this  territory,  and  of 
confining  them  to  the  narrow  strip  of  country  along 
the  Atlantic  coast.  In  this  scheme  of  empire  they 
sought  the  friendship  and  alliance  of  the  Indian 
tribes.  They  first  secured  the  friendship  of  the 
Hurons  and  Algonquins  of  the  North  and  West, 


establishing  among  them  missions  and  trading  posts : 
first  in  the  forests  of  Canada,  then  on  the  Straits 
entering  Lake  Superior  and  Lake  Michigan,  and 
finally  along  the  Mississippi,  the  Wabash  and  the 
Ohio.  In  1641,  a  great  convention  of  Red  Repub- 
licans of  the  Northwestern  vW.?rness  was  called  at 
Sault  Ste.  Marie,  which  ^^as  attendeJ  by  all  the 
tribes  far  and  near,  ana  by  officers  both  "ivil  and 
ecclesiastic  of  the  government  of  New  France  ;  ciV.''d 
it  was  proclaimec'  to  the  assembled  tribes  that  they 
were  placed  imder  the  protection  of  the  French 
nation.  In  1671,  Nicholas  Perot,  the  agent  of 
Talon,  the  Intendant  of  Canada,  convened  a  similar 
great  council  at  Green  Bay,  on  Lake  Michigan. 
Not  only  were  the  vast  multitudes  of  dusky  warriors, 
Sichems  and  braves  there  assembled  brought  into 
alliance  of  friendship  with  the  French,  but  Perot, 
paddled  in  a  bark  canoe  by  friendly  Pottawattomies, 
visited  the  Miamis  at  Chicago,  and  secured  from 
them  similar  conditions  of  friendship  and  alliance. 
While  all  this  was  going  on,  the  Iroquois  or  Five 
Nations,  the  most  powerful  confederation  of  Indians 
on  the  continent,  were  holding  the  ground  between 
the  English  and  the  French  in  the  State  of  New 
York,  the  Long  House,  as  they  called  it,  reaching 
from  the  Hudson  to  Lake  Erie :  not  as  neutrals, 
although  they  sought  at  times  to  preserve  a  sort  of 
neutrality,  but  as  enemies  of  the  French  and  ulti- 
mately as  friends  and  allies  of  the  English.  The 
French  had  wantonly  provoked  their  hostility  at 
the  beginning  of  the  colonization  of  Canada  ;  by 
forming  an  alliance  with  the  hereditary  enemies 
of  the  Iroquois,  tribes  whom  the  latter  had  beaten 
back  beyond  the  lakes  and  held  in  awe  and  subor- 
dination. They  were  so  antagonistic  to  the  French 
along  the  northern  border  of  New  York  that  Lake 
Ontario  and  the  Niagara  River  could  not  be  naviga- 
ted by  them,  and  for  many  years  their  only  avenue 


INTRODUCTION. 


of  access  to  the  West  lay  by  the  Ottawa  River, 
through  which  they  paddled  their  bark  canoes  to 
Lake  Nippissing,  crossed  over  to  French  River, 
by  which  they  descended  to  Lake  Huron. 

The  first  visit  of  the  Jesuits  to  the  Mohawks  and 
Onondagas  had  its  origin  in  the  necessity  for  con- 
ciliating the  Iroquois,  whose  geographical  position 
between  the  English  and  the  French,  and  whose 
strength  and  prowess  in  war,  made  them  the  natural 
arbiters  of  the  destiny  of  which  ever  nation  they 
chose  to  assist  in  the  struggle.  Those  who  regard 
the  mission  of  tlie  Jesuits  in  this  country  as  purely 
religious,  having  for  its  exclusive  object  the  conver- 
sion of  the  heathen  to  Christianity,  mistake  very 
gravely  its  impor^  and  character.  It  had  evidently 
a  polititori^ligious  significitnce.  Not  alone  to  e.\- 
tenr'  j'lje  dominion  of  the  Church,  but  through  the 
Cnurch  to  extend  the  power  and  dominion  of 
France,  came  these  zealous,  devoted  and  self-sacri- 
ficing disciples  of  Ignatius  Loyola  to  the  wilds  of 
North  America. 

In  Onondaga  their  mission-field  was  t;-.e  most 
important  on  the  Continent.  For,  while  it  was  com- 
paratively easy  to  make  friends  and  converts  of  '.he 
unbiased  tribes  of  other  sections  of  the  country, 
here  they  had  a  strong,  wily,  skillful,  though  often 
a  magnanimous  foe,  to  contend  with  and  to  con- 
ciliate. Other  tribes  were  less  dominating — the 
Iroquois  were  the  proud  lords  of  the  domain,  the 
heroes  of  a  thousand  battles.  Resides,  at  Onondaga, 
there  was  that  in  the  situation  which  made  the 
work  of  the  Jesuits  vastly  important.  This  was  the 
center  of  the  Confederacy  or  League  of  the  Five 
Nations,  the  Capital,  at  which  all  their  great 
National  Councils  were  held,  where  the  sachems 
a. id  chiefs,  from  the  Hudson  to  the  Niagara,  assem- 
bled to  attend  to  the  business  of  State,  where  the 
national  policy  and  all  the  great  questions  of  peace 
and  of  war  were  decided.  If,  therefore,  the  Five 
Nations  were  to  be  influenced  and  brought  over  to 
an  alliance  with  the  l^rench  against  their  English 
enemies,  where  could  his  be  so  well  accomplished 
as  at  Onondaga,  in  the  heart  and  capital  of  their 
confederacy .' 

This  made  Onondaga  a  famous  locality,  not  only 
during  the  period  of  the  Jesuit  Missions,  but  equally 
famous  during  the  wars  which  followed,  when  the 


French,  failing  in  ecclesiastical  diplomacy,  r* 
to  the  arbitrament  of  war.     Thrice  was  this 
invaded   by    the    French.     7.,    ■    came    tht 
struggle  known  as  the  "  Old  French  War,"  \\\ 
in   1759  culminated  in  the  downfall  of  the  French 
colonial  power  in  America  :  the  Iroquois  fighting  on 
the  side  of  the  English  and  turning  the  scale  agains' 
the  common  foe. 

It  has  been  seriously  doubted  by  some     *" 
best  statesmen  and  casuists  whether  the  E 
colonists   would    have   been    abl<^    to  <-<-•  -i' 
French  without  the  assi'-fa" 
and  whether,  in  the  absence  0. 
which  they  rendered,  this  country  mi^ 
be  a  part  of  the  French  dominions.     Certain 
their  great  strength,  skill  and  advantage  of 
turned  against  the  English,  the  fate  of  X\ 
would  have  been  ver)'  r!iftere"^t  from  what  ii 

Nor  has  Onondaga  been  less  noted  as  an  oi^.  .• 
civil  division  of  the  State  of  New  York.  Her  "ren- 
tral  location  in  the  great  State  of  which  Ltt'  is  a 
part ;  her  connection  with  the  great  ?ines  of  com- 
munication both  of  the  early  and  more  '  "^cf  it  times  ; 
her  peculiar  topographical  and  geologica  .ures  ; 
the  variety  and  richness  of  her  resourr  id  pro- 
ductions ;  and,  above  all,  the  character,  .•juished 
'.alents  and  reputation  of  her  eminf  .en,  have 
rendered  her  one  of  the  most  noted  ics  in  the 

interior  of  the  Empire  State.     A  ;ariy  time, 

when  the  cf.:"'acter  of  this  great  <ud  Nation 

had  to  be  formed  ami  its  policy  .  n)d  directed, 

Onondaga  men,  at  the  bar,  on  the  bench  '-p 

fields  of  enterprise  and  in  the  halls   of  leg 
bore  a  conspicuous  part,  and  rendered  the 
Onondaga  famous  throughout  the  country, 
were  the  great  advocates  and  projectors  of  t 
Canal — that  great  State  enterprise  which,  cc 
ing  the  early  stage  of  the  country's  progress    in 
which  it  was  begun  and  completed,  eclipsed  all  the 
marvels  of  the  oldest  nations  of  Europe,     The  men 
who   believed    in    the   practicability  of  this   great 
undertaking,  so  far  in  advance  of  the  rest  of  their 
fellow-citizens  that  their  ideas  were  regarded  as  the 
dream  of    visionary   enthusiasts  and  treated  with 
derision  ;  who  first  brought  the  subject  before  the 
Legislature,  first  explored  and  surveyed  the  route, 
and  who  stood  by  the  enterprise  till  it  was  finally 


INTRODUCTION. 


crowned  with  success,  were  men  of  Onondaga  ;  and 
by  their  identification  with  this  great  work  made 
the  name  of  Onondaga  famous  throughout  the  land. 

Onondaga  became  noted  at  an  early  time  for  her 
piineral  resources — her  Salt,  Gypsum,  and  Water- 
Lime.  The  Salt  Springs  of  this  locality  were 
known  throughout  the  French  and  English  colonies 
and  in  Europe  more  than  two  hundred  years  ago. 
After  the  Revolution,  their  fame  attracted  hither 
visitors  and  settlers,  and  their  partial  development 
formed  the  nucleus  of  flourishing  villages  which  have 
grown  into  a  center  of  more  than  sixty  thousand 
population. 

The  first  discovery  of  water  lime  in  America  was 
made  in  Onondaga  at  a  period  most  opportune,  when 
it  was  needed  for  the  permanent  locks  and  culverts 
in  the  construction  of  the  Erie  Canal ;  and,  in 
consequence,  from  1819  that  great  work  went 
forward  to  its  completion,  and  has  since  had  the 
materials  at  hand  to  keep  it  in  a  permanent  state  of 
repair.  Here,  too,  the  first  discovery  of  gypsum 
in  the  United  States  was  made  in  1792,  which  has 
since  become  as  noted  and  valuable  as  the  famous 
plaster  of  Paris. 

The  history  contained  in  the  following  pages 
covers  all  the  ground  over  which  we  have  thus 
cursorily  glanced,  giving  each  step  of  the  progress 
of  the  county  in  detail  from  the  earliest  discoveries. 
The  plan  of  our  work,  of  course,  is  very  different 
from  that  of  Mr.  Clark's  two  volumes.  While  we 
have  condensed  the  history  of  the  Indians  into 
three  or  four  chapters,  adding  considerable  original 
matter,  we  have  extended  the  history  of  the  Military 
Tract,  the  Salt  Interest,  the  Civil  Record,  and  other 
matters,  deemed  of  most  importance,  far  beyond 
anything  that  has  yet  been  published. 

Our  History  of  the  City  of  Syracuse  is  almost 
entirely  original  matter,  embracing  the  inception 
and  progress  of  industries  and  institutions  which 
either  did  not  exist  or  were  in  their  infancy  when 
Mr.  Clark  published  his  Onondaga,  such  as  the 
Public  Schools,  Churches,  Institutions  of  Learning, 
Libraries,  Manufactories,  Banking,  Railroads,  and 
the  various  Industrial  and  Commercial  interests  of 
the  modern  city.  Also  in  the  various  Towns  of  the 
County,  the  histories  have  been  brought  down  from 
the  point  where  they  had  been  left  by  the  former 


historian.  The  Military  Record  of  Onondaga  in 
the  War  of  the  Rebellion — a  history  not  hitherto 
attempted — has  been  added,  forming  one  of  the 
most  valuable  and  interesting  features  of  the  work. 

The  sources  of  information  to  which  we  have 
had  access  in  compiling  this  volume  are  the  Jesuit 
Relations  ;  Colonial  and  Do'^umentary  Histories  of 
New  York  ;  Clark's  Onondaga  ;  Bancroft's  History 
of  the  United  States  ;  Smith's  New  York  ;  Park- 
man's  Jesuits  in  America;  Champlain's  Journal; 
Charlevoi.x's  History  of  New  France;  Parkman's 
Old  Regim^  in  Canada ;  Davidson  &  Stuv^'s  His- 
tory of  Illinois  :  Turner's  History  of  the  Holland 
Purchase ;  Geological  Reports  of  the  State  of  New 
York ;  Transactions  of  the  State  Agricultural 
Society  ;  New  York  Civil  List ;  State  Census  for 
1875  ;  Local,  County  and  Town  Records,  Maps, 
Pamphlets,  Files  of  Newspapers,  and  various  other 
documents  of  a  local  character.  For  local  matters 
we  have  consulted  the  Pompey  Re-union  and  Van 
Schaack's  History  of  the  Village  of  Manlius. 

For  valuable  assistance  we  are  indebted  to  Hon. 
George  Geddes,  not  only  for  material.!  and  sugges- 
tions embodied  in  various  portions  of  the  general 
history,  but  for  the  matter  on  geology,  agriculture, 
&c.,  drawn  from  his  valuable  Report  published  in 
the  Transactions  of  \he  State  Agricultural  Society 
for  1859  ;  to  Moses  Summers,  Esq.,  of  the  Onondaga 
Standard,  for  aid  in  the  use  of  books  and  papers, 
and  the  History  of  the  149th  Regiment  ;  to  Col.  J. 
M.  Gere,  Col.  Jenney,  Major  Poole,  Gen.  Sniper, 
Capt.  W.  Gilbert,  Lieut.  Estes,  Gen.  Richardson, 
and  others,  in  making  up  the  history  of  the  regi- 
ments from  this  county  engaged  in  the  late  war. 
We  also  acknowledge  indebtedness  to  Hon.  E. 
W.  Leavenworth,  Messrs.  J.  Forman  and  Alfred 
Wilkinson,  Hon.  Thomas  G.  Alvord,  George  J. 
Gardner,  Esq.,  and  others,  both  in  the  city  and 
country.  Many  clergymen  have  kindly  assisted  us 
with  data  for  the  History  of  the  Churches,  and 
prominent  Masons  and  Odd-Fellows  have  court- 
eously aided  us  in  the  histories  of  their  societies. 

It  is  hoped  that  this  contribution  to  local  history 
will  be  the  means  of  rescuing  much  historical 
material  from  oblivion  that  would  otherwise  perish. 
Records  are  liable  to  be  destroyed  :  in  many  in- 
stances they  are  very  imperfectly  kept ;  many  of  the 


INTRODUCTION. 


most  important  events  of  daily  occurrence  in  every 
community  are  never  recorded  at  all :  if  they  find 
their  way  into  the  daily  papers  and  files  are  kept, 
there  are  usually  no  duplicates  of  the  same,  and  the 
likelihood  that  they  will  be  preserved  is  as  one 
against  a  thousand  compared  with  a  book  of  history 
in  which  these  facts  and  events  are  gathered  up  and 
distributed  among  thousands  of  readers. 

Moreover,  much  of  the  most  valuable  part  of  our 
local  history  exists  only  in  the  memory  of  those 
who  have  been  witnesses  of  the  events  or  partici- 
pators in  them.  And  these  are  rapidly  passing  from 
the  stage  of  action.  Scarcely  a  week  passes  but 
some  early  settler,  whose  experience  reached  back 
to  the  beginning  of  our  present  improvements  and 
institutions,  and  whose  memory  was  replete  with 
interesting  facts  and  incidents  connected  with  the 
country,  is  numbered  no  more  among  the  living. 
Happy  for  the  interests  of  local  history  if  such  citi- 
zens had  been  interviewed,  and  the  contents  of  their 


interesting  knowledge  and  e.xpericnce  put  upon 
record.  Surely  he  who  preserves  these  valuable 
traditions  from  perishing,  and  commits  them  to  the 
hands  of  the  descendants  of  our  worthy  pioneers 
in  an  authentic  and  readable  form,  is  doing  a,  kind 
office  to  present  and  future  generations. 

No  one  but  he  who  has  attempted  to  compile 
such  historical  collections,  is  aware  of  the  difficul- 
ties, even  now,  attending  the  collection  rf  such 
materials.  The  meagreness  of  the  records  and  the 
incompleteness  of  the  best  recollections  that  can  be 
elicited,  are  constantly  compelling  the  local  historian 
to  modify  his  plan  or  to  leave  it  imperfectly  execu- 
ted. Links  are  wanting  which  the  utmost  labor 
and  research  cannot  supply.  While  painfull)-  con 
scious  of  this  fact,  we  have  striven  to  make  the 
following  pages  as  accurate  and  complete  as  possible 
under  the  circumstances,  and  we  submit  our  humble 
labors  to  the  indulgent  criticism  of  the  public. 


CONTENTS 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY. 


INTROPVCTIOX 

Chapter  1— Early  Discoveries— Claims  of  different  Nations— Xew 
York  under  Dutch  Rule— First  Colonial  Assembly— The 
Revolution  and  Progress  of  Settlement  Vestward. 
Chapter  H.— History  of  the  Military  Tract,    .... 

Chapter  III.— Interesting   Early  Records— Town    Meetings— For- 
mation of  Counties  prior  to  Onondaga— Organization  of 
Onondaga  County. 
OaAPT>R  IV.— The  Iroquois  Confederacy.         .... 

Chai'T'  ft  V  — The  Onondaga  Indians  and  the  French— War  Detween 
The  English  and  French— Count  Frontenao"s  Invasion 
■  •f  Onondaga,  etc..       ...... 

Chapter  VI.— The  Iroquois  and   the  English— The  Onondagas  in 
the  French  War— English  and  German  Missions  among 
the  Onondagas — Schools — Treaties,  etc.,  . 
Chapter  VII  —.Migration  of  the  Onondagas— Location  of  their  vari- 
ous Town  Sites— Period  of  their  Residence  in  each  Lo- 
cality,     ........ 

C'eapter  VIII.— Antiquities—Relies  of  European  Intercourse  with 
the  Indians — The  Monumental  Stone  of  1520,  discovered 
in  Pompey— Other  curious  Relics, 
Chapter  IS— Internal  Navigation— The  old  Canal— Origin  of  the 
Eiie  Canal— Part  taken  in  it  by  Eminent  Men  of  Onon- 
daga Counly--Its  Completion  and  Advantages, 
Chapter  X— History  of  the  Courts — Erection  of  the  County  Build- 
iuiis,         ........ 

Chapter  XI —History  of  the  Salt  Springs,  and  Manufacture  of 
Salt,  with  Statistics,  etc.,      ..... 

Chapter  XII.— History  of  the  Salt  Springs,  continued,  with  tables 

showing  amount  of  Salt  made  since  17^, 
Chapter  XIII.— Topography  of  Onondaga  County,  . 
Chapter  XIV.— Geology  of  Onondaga  County, 
Chapter  XV.— Geology,  continued,         ..... 

Chapter  XVI.— Agriculture— Classiflcation  of  Soils— Climate— Tim- 
ber-Clearing Land— Pictures  of  Pioneer  Life— Produc- 
tions of  the  County,    ...... 

Chapter  XVII.— Comparative    Statistics— Influential    Agricultur- 
ists-County Agricultural  Societies— The  present  Joint 
Stock  Company— General  Agricultural  Statistics  ol  the 
County,    ........ 

Chapter  XVIII.— Judicial  and  Executive  Officers  under  Herkimer 
County — Onondaga  County  Civil  List — Military  Organi- 
zation-Population of  the  Couuty  from  18(J0  to  1(^75,    . 
Chapter  XIX.— County  Poor  House  and  Insane  ."isylum— County 
Penitentiary— State  Asylum  for  Idiots,     . 


PAGE 

1 


23 


3« 


4fl 


ti-s 


75 


Chapter 

Chapter 
Chapter 
Chapter 
Chapter 
Chapter 
Chapter 
Chapter 
Chapter 
Chapter 
Chapter 


XX.— Onondaga  in  the  War  of  the  Rebellion— Capt.  But- 
ler's Company— Pettit's  Battery,     . 
XXI.— Jenney's  Battery,  etc., 

XXII— The  15th  Regt.  X.  Y.  Vols 

XXIIL— 12th  Regt.,  continued— The  101st  Regt.,  . 
XXIV.-The  laad  N.  Y.  Vols.,  .... 
XXV.-Tbe  12iM  X.  Y.  Vols.,  continued,       .  '. 

XXVI —The  125d  N.  Y.  Vols.,  continued— 15th  Cavalry, 
XXVII. -The  149th  X.  Y.  Vols., 
XXVIII.-The  14<ith  X.  Y.  Vols.,  continued, 
XXIX.— The  185th  N.  Y.  Vols., 
XXX.-The  l.S5ih  N.  Y.  Vols.,  continued,    . 


CITY  OF  SYRACUSE. 


SI       I 


Introduction 

Railroads, 

Education, 

Syracuse  University, 

Churches. 

Press. 

Banks. 

Manufactures, 

Commercial  Interests, 

Masons.  Odd-Fellows.  *c.. 

HISTORIES  OF  THE  TOWNS. 

Town  of  Sallm, 

■'  Geddes. 

•'  Onondaga. 

■'  Marcellus, 

"  Skaneateles. 

•'  Eibridge,    . 

■■  Camillus,    , 

"  Lysander, 

■'  Van  Bhren. 

•■  Clay, 

'•  Cicero. 

■  Spafford, 

■  Otisco, 
■'  TuUy, 

••  La  Fayette. 

''        ■'  Manlius. 

■'  Fahius. 

•'  De  Witt, 

"       •'  Pompey. 


Si 

88 

91 

96 

lOS 

107 

JIl 

118 

122 

12T 

131 


135 
150 
152 
167 
]T« 
194 
•203 
215 
3ST 
»tl 


258 
2Ctj 

an 

2K.-J 

.•i<»f< 

315 

327 

332 

:J37 

344 

.348- 

355- 

.359 

'iti-'i  ■ 


ILLUSTRATIONS. 

t 

Pratt's  Falls.  Pompey,  N.  Y.  (Froutice.i.  facing  title  page. 

!Plau  of  Onondaga  County.             ....  facing         5 

Court  House,  Syracuse,       .  '42 

Penitentiary,          "              .  .                  ■            81 

Ono.idaga  County  Poor-House,  81 

SYRACUSE. 
Clinton  Square, 
Residence  of  Patrick  Lyn^h, 
Eo  trait  of  Gen.  A.  P.  Granger. 
■    Parley  Howlett, 
"         "    George  Stevens, 
hesidence  of  John  Greenway, 
'ortralts  of  W   M.  Clarke  and  wife, 

\.  G.  .Salisbury  and  wife. 

i.-'hn  Wilkinson,  (steel.)  between 


facing 


135 
ise 
140 
141 
142 
144 
148 
149 
ICO.  151 


Residence  of  John  Moore,  . 
Portrait  of  Henry  Shattuck. 

"    J  C.  Woodruff. 
■'         "    Lyman  Clary,  M.  D  , 

"    Hon.  Joshua  Forman,(steeli 

"    Gen.  E.  W.  Leavenworth,  (steel) 

"    J.  M.  Wieting,  M.  D., 

■'  Rev.  E.  O.  Haven,  D.  D.,  LL.  D., 
Syracuse  University  Boildings,  (double  page) 
Martin's  Block,  ... 

Residence  of  John  Eastwood. 
Portrait  of  L.  H.  Ridfield,  (steel) 
"         "    Horace  White,  (steel) 
The  White  Memorial  Building, 
Portrait  of  Hamilton  White,  (steel  i 

"    X.  F.  Graves,  (steel  i 

"    D.  P.  Wood,  (steel  1 


fac 

ing 

152 

■ 

15K 

160 

161 

. 

162 

164 

IB6 

107 

between 

168 

169 

facing 

IM 

. 

184 

192 

between 

198, 

199 

" 

198, 

199 

200, 

201 

•• 

200. 

901 

facing 

202 

II 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


Portrait  of  E.  F.  Rice, 

"    Hon.  D.  Pratt,  (Meeli    . 
"    William  C,  Kuger.  I  steel) 
'•    Elizur  Clark,  isteel) 
•'    C,  T.  LoDgstreet.  (Steel) 
Empire  State  Jlills— .Iacot>  AmosA  Sons. 
Portrait  of  Jobii  Orceiiway, 
View  of  GreeuTBj'8  lirewiry. 
Portrait  of  S,  P,  Pierce, 
••    Wm.  A.  Cool!, 
"        "    JoliD  Crouse,  isteelj 

•'    Hon,  Peter  Burns,  (steelj 
"        •'    Hotace  Bronson, 
"        "    Johnbou  Hall, 
Onondaga  Coiintv  Mill!  Association  Depot, 
Portrait  of  Capt.  Oliver  Teall,  isteel) 
'■        "    George  J.  Gardner,  (eteel) 
'•       "    MajorGeneral  Jolm  J.  Peck, 
"        "    Rufus  Stanton, 

••     Hon   V.  W.  Smith 
•'        •'    Hon.  Dennis  McC'artliy, 
"       "    Robert  Gere.  (Sleel) 
Besidence  of  Jacolj  Aniux,  iwitli  portrait) 
Portrait  of  Mrs.  Ann  M.  T.  Rtdfleld,  (steel) 
••    James M.  Ellis,  isteel) 
■•    C.  Tallmnn,  isteel  i 
••    H.  X.  Wliite, 

SALIXA 
Residence  of  John  Padilock, 
Portraits  of  John  Paddock  and  Wife, 
Portrait  of  B.  Burton, 
Portraits  of  Miles  Adams  and  Wife. 

GEDDES. 
Portrait  of  Dr.  W   W.  Porter; 

OXONDAGA. 
Residence  of  J.  W.  Parsons,  iwltli  portrait,! 
Portrait  of  Hon.  Abner  Cliapuian,    . 
Portraits  of  John  F.  and  Minerva  Clark,    . 
Portrait  of  Leonard  P,  Field, 
Portraits  of  Jeremiah  Everrinjjham  and  wives,  . 

"        *•    Horace  Hitohiiigs  and  wife, 

'*        "    Moses  Fowler  "        '"     . 

"    Theophilus  Hali 

"        ••    E    B.Bradley 
Portrait  of  George  T.  Clark,  M.  I> 

"        "  W.  W,  Newman. 
Portraits  of  Charles  Carpenter  and  wife. 
Residence  of  George  Hull, 
Portraits  of  George  Hall  and  wife, 

"        '•   Volney  King  "        "    , 
Residence  of  Austin  G.  WyckofI,  (with  portraits) 

"        "  Jerathmael  Hunt.  ''  " 

Portraits  of  David  Chafee  and  wife, 

"       •■  Ransel  S.  Kenyoii  and  wife, 

MARCELLUS. 
Marcellus  Wuulen  Mills— L.  Moses,  (double  page) 


PAbE 

(aciug       tm 

lietween    212,  -.'13 

«1«,  •,i:i 

•,J14,  -iVi 

■Hi.  41.'. 

facing     311) 

am 

219 
2« 
?« 
i-U 

yao 

iSO 
831 
833 
•JM 

iiv 
a-io 

841 
846 
84T 
848 
849 
2,i0 
8.V3 
255 
850 


facing 


8M 
85S 
868 
865 


facing       -iiyl 


facing 


871 
878 

Ijetween    872,  273 
878,  873 
facing      873 
874 

between    274,  875 

274,875 

facing     875 

876 

between    876,877 

876,  877 

87»,  879 

878.  879 

facing     879 

881 

between  iSi.  883 

»e,  883 

facing      383 

between    884,  885 


SKAXEATELES, 
Residence  of  the  lale  Julius  Earn,  .  between    288,! 

Portrait  of  Judge  Hezekiah  Earll,  ... 
Residence  of  A.  J.  Earll  with  portraits,  (double  page) 
Darvel  Mills,  Property  of  Thomas  Morton,  (double  page) 
Portrait  of  C.  Pardee,  .... 

Portraits  of  D.  C.  Thornton  and  wife, 
Thomas  Morton's  Mills,  at  Mottville,  (double  page) 
Draycott  Paper  Mills,  (double  page) 
Residences  of  W.  T  and  F.  G.  Weeks,      . 
F.  A.  Sinclair's  I'nion  Chair  Factory,  (double  page> 
Portraits  of  F.  A.  Sinclair  and  wife. 
Portrait  of  Benoni  Lee,  (steel) 

ELBRIDGE. 
Residence  of  Tliomas  W.  Hill,  (  vith  iiKitrails' 
Portrait  of   Hon.  Luke  Banuey 

*•        '•  CUauncey  B    Lniid, 

"        "  Hon,  John  D.  Hhoades, 

"        "  James  Rodger,   . 
Portraits  of  Dr.  Titus  Merriraanand  w(ic. 
Portrait  of  T.  K   Wright,        ... 

"        "  John  A.  Stevens, 

"        "  Ezekiel  Skinner, 


28C, 

289 

.        "         888, 

889 

ge)  '•      aso, 

291 

facing 

S91 

" 

891 

between    898, 

89'j 

SW, 

893 

«iH. 

810 

296 

•897 

•»« 

•897 

facing 

•J97 

fa''iug 

298 

" 

300 

between    3tO 

301 

300 

301 

facing 

802 

" 

803 

•• 

304 

between    804 

SOS 

304 

803 

PAOB 

Itlg 

305 
306 
307 

ft 

■Ing 

fOH 

SOU 

'10 
3*11 
318 

eeii    318 

.  313 

fa 

ing 

313 

Portraits  of  Deacon  Isaac  Hill  and  nife,  . 

■'        '•  Jacob  Halsied 
Portrait  of  Marvin  W.  Hardy, 

CAMILLCS, 
Portrait  of  David  llunro. 

•'        •'  John  C.  Muuro,  . 
Portraits  of  Robert  Hopkins  and  wife, 

••       •*  Enos  Peel; 
Portrait  of  Sidney  H.  Cook 

"  Daniel  Bennett,  beti 

••  Jonathan  White,  ,  .  ,  . 

Residence  of  J     B.   Bennett,  (with  portrait*)  double 

page.  .  .  ,  .  .  between    3I4,  315 

Residence  and  Farm  of  Henry  Winchell.  (with  portraits)     '•       3IJ,  815 

LYSANDER, 

Former  Residence  of  John  Halsted, 
Residence  of  Mrs.  Electa  Van  Derveer. 
Portrait  of  B.  B.  Schenck.  M.  D.,     . 
Residence  of  B.  B.  Schenck,  M.  D.,  PlalnviUe, 
Residences  of  J.  H.  and  Lymau  Norton.     . 
Portrait  of  Lyman  Xorton,    .... 

••      ••  Dr.  J.  E.  Hilts 

Residence  of  Mrs  F.  W.  Fenner,  (with  portraits) 
Residence  and  Tobacco  Bams  of  William  Wilson, 
Portrait  of  John  Halsted,  (Steel I 
Residence  and  Hop  Farm  of  H.  H  Russ,  (With  portiaits) 

VAX  BUREN. 
Portrait  of   A.  W.    Bingham. 

••  Henry  Daboll.     .  be 

Residence  of  ••  . 

Portraits  of  H.  B.  Bingham  and  wife. 
Residence  of    A.  W.  Bingham,         .... 
Residence  of  the  late  Moses  Wormuth,  (with  portraits) 

"  George  Ecker,  (with  portraits), 

'•  Russei  Foster,     *•  "       . 


facing 

between    31H, 

■■&). 
320. 
facing 

facing 


315 
816 
319 
319 
321 
381 
321 
383 
384 
»i& 
32l> 


facin.'      328 
I  ween    Vf.    '40 

.ijH.  ■.fyr> 

:i3o,  8:)! 
facing     .3:)1 


CLAY. 

Late  Residence  of  William  Wormoth,  .         facing 

Residence  of  Thomas  H.  Scott,  between    'SU, 
Residences  of  Mosley,  Horace  S.,  and  Homer  Dunham, 

(With  portraits  I,  between    334, 

Residence  of    French  Fairchild,  with  portraits,  (double 

p-igei                       ....  between    336, 

CICERO. 

Residence  of  William  H.  Carter,  (With  portrait),  facing 
Portrait  of  Samuel  Emmons  and  wife,       ..." 

Portraits  of  Hon.  Asa  Eastwood  and  wife,  between    810, 

••    Orsamus  Johnson  and  wife,  '■      310, 

Portrait  of  Isaac  Cooniey,      ...  facing 

Residence  of  Robert  Henderson.     .  between    .'i48, 

••     Capt.  V.  Dunham,  ■            :(4S, 

Portrait  of  M,  H.  Blynn,  M    P.,  148, 

Portraits  of  Samuel  Cushing  and  wife.  :i4'8. 

Residence  of  David  H.  Hoyt,  (With  poitralts),  facing 

SPAFFORD. 
Residence  of  Samuel  H.  Stanton,  (with  portraits), 

OTISCO, 


3-i2 

;m 

.835 

xn 

138 
310 
841 
341 
311 
Mt 
.'^43 
MS 
t43: 


facing    ,847 


between  348, 
Us. 
■US. 

»1«, 

348, 

••15(1. 
.850. 
:»), 
facing 


Residences  of  Thomas  and  James  H.  Red  way. 
Portraits  of  Thomas  Redway  and  wife,     . 

*•  James  H. 
Residence  of  James  L.  Xiles,  Anil>er,  (with  portraits)  , 
Residence  and  Store  of  A.  J.  Niles,  Amber,  (with  portraits) 
Residence  ond   Farm  View  of  John  Van  Benthuysen, 

(double  page)        .... 
Residence  of  W,  C.  Fish,  . 

Portraits  of  W.  C.  and  Elir.a  H.  Fish, 
Residence  of  I.  T.  Frisbie,  i  with  portraits) 
Portrait  of  Uriah  Fish.  .  .  ,  ,  . 

Residence  of  George  W.  Card,  (double  page)  between 

Portraits  of  George  W  Card  and  family. 
Residence  of  Warren  Kinney,  (With  portraits)   .  •• 

Residence  and  Shop  of  Myron  Hillyer,  (with  portraits) 

TCLLY. 
Portraits  of  Hon.  Samuel  Willis  and  wife, 
Residence  of  Hon.  Samuel  Willis, 

LA  FAYETTE. 
Residence  of  Morris  Baker,  (With  portrait) 

"  "    Maj.  F.  J.  Farrington,  (with  portraits) 


»t9 
:Mft 

.il!) 

:»■! 
:M9 

351 
331 
:)51 
S5t 
351 
86* 
853 
8.^5 
8->5 


between    ."J-Vi.  :?67 


facing 


aw 

.860 


Pla/L  of  ^  p 


CO. 


I 


\Aii^ldin{ 


C  0  u 


HISTOEY 


OF 


Ono^'daga  County,  New  Yoek. 


CHAPTER  I. 

General  History — Early  Discoveries — Claims 
OF  Different  Nations — New  York  under 
Dutch  Rule — First  Colonial  Assembly — 
The  Revolution  and  Progress  of  Settle- 
ment Westward. 

THE  County  of  Onondaga  as  a  civil  organiza- 
tion is  of  comparatively  recent  date.  Tlie 
history  of  this  locality,  however,  extends  back 
into  a  remote  period,  and  is  intimately  connected 
with  the  earliest  discoveries  and  settlements  on  the 
continent  of  North  America.  There  are  evidences 
that  this  region  of  country  was  visited  by  Euro- 
peans a  hundred  years  before  the  Pilgrims  landed 
at  Plymouth  Rock,  almost  a  century  before  the 
Dutch  settled  the  New  Netherlands,  and  eighty- 
eight  years  before  Quebec  was  founded  by  the 
French.  The  monumental  stone  discovered  in 
Pompey,  bearing  date  1520,  carries  back  our  local 
history  three  liundred  and  fifty-seven  years  from 
our  own  time,  to  a  period  when  the  Spaniards 
were  making  their  discoveries  in  Florida,  and 
forty-five  years  before  the  founding  of  St.  Augus- 
tine. 

A  brief  review  of  the  early  discoveries  will  be 
proper  in  this  place. 

In  less  than  a  decade  after  the  discovery  of 
America  by  Columbus,  the  diflerent  maritime  pow- 
ers of  Europe  were  engaged  in  active  competition 
for  the  prizes  of  the  New  World.  Spain,  actuated 
by  the  greed  of  gold  and  the  lust  of  conquest,  seized 
upon  the  rich  treasures  of  the  Montezunias,  and 
after  conquering  and  plundering  Mexico  and  South 
America,  took  possession  of  Florida  and  of  that  por- 
tion of  the  Northern  Continent  .bordering  on  the 
Gulf  of  Mexico.  The  first  Spanish  colony  in  North 
America  was  planted  at  St  Augustine,  Florida,  in 
1565,  about  fifty  years  after  Ponce  de  Leon  had 


discovered  the  southern-most  cape  of  the  United 
States. 

The  English  meanwhile  were  not  idle.  Author- 
ized by  letters  patent  from  Henry  VH,  John  Ca- 
bot, a  Venetian,  accompanied  by  his  son,  Sebas- 
tian, set  out  on  a  voyage  of  discovery  to  America. 
He  struck  the  sterile  coast  of  Labrador,  June  24, 
1-497,  ^"d  was  the  first  European  to  see  the  Conti- 
nent of  North  America.  In  1498,  Sebastian  Cabot, 
returning,  explored  the  coast  from  Newfound- 
land to  Florida. 

In  1 50 1,  the  Portuguese  explored  nearly  the 
whole  coast  of  North  America. 

Attracted  by  the  prize  of  the  Newfoundland 
fisheries,  the  French  of  Normandy  and  Britany  sent 
thither  their  sailing  vessels  as  early  as  the  begin- 
ning of  the  sixteenth  century.  From  this  point 
they  discovered  the  Island  of  Cape  Breton  and  gradu- 
ally passed  westward  into  the  Gulf  of  St.  Lawrence. 
To  Jacques  Cartier,  a  French  mariner  of  St.  Malo,  be- 
longs the  honor  of  having  discovered  and  named 
the  River  St.  Lawrence.  Sailing  up  its  broad  ex- 
panse of  waters  on  St.  Lawrence  Day,  (August  10,) 
1534,  he  gave  it  the  name  of  that  distinguished 
saint,  and  ascended  the  river  as  far  as  the  Island 
of  Orleans.  The  following  year  he  explored  it  to 
the  ancient  Indian  town  of  Hochelaga,  now  Mon- 
treal. The  French  under  Champlain,  founded  Que- 
bec in  1608.  One  year  earlier  the  English  colo- 
nists had  made  their  first  permanent  settlement  at 
Jamestown,  Virginia,  and  in  1620  the  Mayflower 
landed  another  colony  at  Plymouth  Rock,  destined 
to  have  an  important  influence  in  the  settlement 
and  institutions  of  the  country  for  all  time  to  come. 
These  two  colonies  were  the  successful  rivals  of 
all  others  of  every  nationality,  in  that  competition 
for  empire  which  has  made  their  descendants  the 
masters  of  North  America. 

Meanwhile    the   French    had  also   explored    the 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


coasts  of  New  England  and  New  York.  Emu- 
lating the  enterprise  of  England  and  Sixain,  Fran- 
cis I,  of  France,  had  sent  upon  a  voyage  of  ex- 
ploration the  distinguished  Florentine  mariner,  John 
Verrazzani.  This  persevering  navigator  visited 
America  in  1 524,  sailed  along  the  coast  a  distance  of 
twenty-one  hundred  miles  in  frail  vessels  and  safely 
returned  to  report  his  success  to  his  sovereign. 

The  Dutch  East  India  Company  employed 
Henry  Hudson  to  seek  a  northern  passage  to 
India.  In  a  mere  yacht  he  ventured  among  the 
northern  icebergs,  skirted  the  coast  of  North 
America,  and  sailing  up  the  noble  river  which 
perjjctuates  his  name,  cist  anchor  in  the  stream 
and  opened  a  trade  with  the  Indians.  From  them 
Hudson  obtained  corn,  beans,  pumpkins,  grapes 
and  tobacco, —  products  indigenous  to  the  soil  and 
climate  of  America,  —  and  to  them  he  imparted  a 
knowledge  of  the  baneful  eiTects  of  into.\icating 
liquor. 

On  account  of  the  foregoing  e.xplorations  and 
discoveries,  three  nations  laid  claim  to  a  portion 
of  the  territory  embraced  in  the  State  of  New 
York.  On  the  ground  of  the  discoveries  of  Sebas- 
tian Cabot  in  i49S.was  based  the  English  claim  of  ter- 
ritory, eleven  degrees  in  width  extending  indefinitely 
westward  ;  the  French  claimed  a  portion  of  the 
eastern  Atlantic  coast  on  the  ground  of  the  discov- 
eries made  by  Verrazzani  ;  and  Holland  l.nid  claim 
to  the  country  from  Cape  Cod  to  the  southern 
shore  of  Delaware  Bay,  basing  her  right  upon  the 
discoveries  of  Hudson,  made  in  September,  1609. 
Of  this  thrice-claimed  region  the  Dutch  be- 
came the  actual  possessors  and  gave  it  the  name 
of  New  Netherlands.  They  planted  a  fort  on 
Manhattan  Island  in  1614,  antl  in  1623  made  settle- 
ments at  New  Amsterdam  and  Fort  Orange.  For 
a  time  on  amicable  terms  with  the  Indians  the 
colonists  lived  in  peace  and  security,  but  the  cruelty 
of  Keith,  one  of  the  four  colonial  Governors, 
awakened  the  fires  of  revenge  and  threatened  the 
colony  with  extermination.  Restricted  in  their 
rights,  and  desirous  of  the  privileges  and  liberties 
accorded  the  neighboring  English  colonists,  the 
Dutch  settlers  refused  to  contest  supremacy  with  the 
naval  expedition  of  Admiral  Nichols,  sent  out  by 
the  Duke  of  York  in  1664 ;  and  the  warlike 
Sleuyvesant,  reluctantly  yielding  to  the  English, 
resigned  his  command,  and  the  province  re- 
ceived the  name  of  Nkw  Yokk.  The  settlement 
at  New  Amsterdam  was  changed  to  the  same  name, 
and  Fort  Orange  to  Albany,  the  present  State 
Capital. 

Hailing  with  satisfaction  the  change  of  masters, 


the  Dutch  and  English  colonists,  whose  plantations 
had  been  devastated  by  the  Raritans  and  their 
allies,  and  whose  lives  had  been  saved  by  the  inter- 
position of  the  friendly  Mohawks,  soon  found  them- 
selves in  a  protracted  struggle  with  the  royal  Gov- 
ernors. Repeatedly  defrauded  of  their  means,  they 
raised  revenues  under  their  own  officers  and  stout- 
ly defended  and  successfully  maintained  their  rights 
and  liberties. 

In  October,  1683,  the  first  Colonial  Assembly 
lor  the  Province  of  New  York  held  its  session.  It 
consisted  of  a  Governor,  Council  of  Ten,  and 
House  of  Representatives  of  seventeen  members 
elected  by  the  jjcople. 

In  conflict  with  their  French  enemies  on  the 
north,  the  timidity  and  delays  of  the  Governors 
brought  the  English  into  contempt  with  their  fierce 
allies,  the  Iroquois,  on  the  west ;  but  the  misfor- 
tune was  averted  before  treaties  were  annulled  by 
the  sagacity  and  activity  of  Schuyler  and  Fletcher 
in  the  winter  of  1693.  The  changes  and  revolu- 
tions in  England  extended  to  the  royal  province 
and  occasioned  an  event  of  vast  importance  in  its 
bearing  on  the  future  of  the  State.  The  circum- 
stances of  the  hanging  of  Leisler  and  Millbourne, 
so  familiar  to  many,  opened  a  chasm  between  the 
people,  whose  hardships  in  a  new  land  entitled 
them  to  a  voice  in  their  own  government,  and  pro- 
prietors of  large  tracts  of  land,  with  aristocratic 
tendencies  and  pretensions,  who  aimed  at  a  com- 
plete usurpation  of  popular  rights  and  privileges. 
The  antagonism  thus  fostered  kindled  to  a  flame 
upon  the  breaking  out  of  the  Revolution,  and  un- 
der the  appellations  of  Whig  and  Tory  the  people 
were  arranged  in  nearly  equal  numbers. 

During  the  Revolution,  eastern  New  York  was 
the  scene  of  various  severe  struggles.  The  defeat 
of  the  Americans  on  Long  Island  was  the  com- 
mencement of  a  period  of  gloom  and  depression  ; 
but  the  surrender  of  Hurgoyne  at  Saratoga  in- 
spired a  hope  and  a  resolution  which  never  ceased 
till  the  close  of  the  war.  With  the  arrival  of  peace 
and  freedom  from  foreign  influence,  and  during  the 
cessation  of  internal  dissensions,  many  soldiers  re- 
ceiving grants  of  land  in  lieu  of  bounties,  proceeded 
westward  to  find  and  settle  upon  their  tracts.  Large 
areas  of  land  were  bought,  and  sometimes  after 
many  changes  of  ownership,  the  proprietors  or  com- 
panies oflfcring  liberal  terms,  invited  settlers,  laid 
out  counties  and  towns,  and  founded  villages  and 
hamlets,  which  have  grown  into  cities  important 
and  populous. 

At  the  close  of  the  Revolution,  Central  and 
Western    New   York   was   a  wilderness ;  but   the 


^ 

i 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


march  of  armies  and  the  forays  of  detachments  had 
made  known  the  future  promise  of  this  hitherto  un- 
trodden region  ;  and  companies,  the  State  and  the 
general  Government,  immediately  took  steps,  as 
policy  and  duty  seemed  to  dictate,  to  acquire  im- 
mediate ownership. 

The  conclusion  of  that  peace  by  which  American 
Independence  was  acknowledged  secured  no  terms 
to  England's  savage  au.xiliaries.  Their  ancient 
possessions,  by  the  treaty  of  1783,  passed  into  the 
hands  of  the  United  States.  The  new  Government 
desired  to  consolidate  a  peace  with  the  Six  Na- 
tions, and  to  this  end  the  General  Assembly  of 
New  York  made  provision  for  a  treaty,  by  passing 
an  act,  April  6,  1784,  associating  with  Governor 
George  Clinton,  President  ex-officio  of  the  Board  of 
Commissioners,  and  his  three  associates,  such  other 
persons  as  should  be  deemed  necessary,  who  were 
authorized  to  proceed  to  form  a  compact  with  the 
Indians.  The  place  selected  was  Fort  Stanwi.x. 
But  pending  the  meeting  Congress  took  action  in 
the  matter,  appointing  Oliver  Wolcott,  Arthur  Lee 
and  Richard  Butler,  Commissioners  to  make  a 
treaty  with  the  same  parties.  This  brought  the 
general  Government  and  State  into  conflict  ;  the 
general  Government  maintained  its  prerogatives, 
and,  by  the  Commissioners  appointed,  concluded  a 
treaty  with  the  Six  Nations  at  Fort  Stanwix,  Octo- 
ber 22,  1784.  This  treaty  ceded  a  large  portion  of 
land  in  Western  New  York.  By  a  treaty  with  the 
Onondagas,  concluded  September  12,  1788,  the 
lands  known  as  the  Military  Tract  were  acquired. 


CHAPTER   II. 

History  of  the  Military  Tr.act. 

IN  our  introductory  chapter  we  have  brought 
down  the  thread  of  events  to  the  extinguish- 
ment of  the  Indian  title  to  the  Military  Tract.  That 
portion  of  the  State  was  afterwards  organized  into 
the  County  of  Onondaga.  The  history  of  this  famous 
tract  of  land  may  properly  begin  with  the  action  of 
Congress  on  the  i6th  of  September,  1776,  in  mak- 
ing provision  for  the  bounties  of  the  soldiers  to  be 
enlisted  in  the  Continental  Army  during  the  War 
of  the  Revolution.  The  following  is  an  extract 
from  the  journal  of  Congress,  dated  as  above : 

"  Congress  then  resolved  itself  into  a  committee 
of  the  whole  to  take  into  consideration  the  report 
of  the  Board  of  War ;  and  after  some  time  the 
President  resumed  the  chair,  and  Mr.  Nelson  re- 
ported that  the  committee  have  had  under  consid- 
eration the  report  from  the  Board  of  War,  and  have 
made  sundry    amendments  ;    which    they  ordered 


him  to  lay  before  Congress.  Congress  then  took 
into  consideration  the  report  of  the  Board  of  War, 
and  the  amendments  offered  by  the  committee  of 
the  wliole,  and  thereupon  came  to  the  following 
resolutions  : 

"  That  eighty-eight  Battalions  be  enlisted  as  soon 
as  possible,  to  serve  during  the  present  war ;  and 
that  each  State  furnish  their  respective  quotas  in 
the  following  proportions,  viz.: 

New  Hampshire   Three    Battalions. 

Massachusetts  Bay    ...  Fifteen  " 

Rhode   Island Two  " 

Connecticut Eight  " 

New  York   Four  " 

New  Jersey    Four  " 

Pennsylvania Twelve  " 

Delaware   One  " 

Maryland Eight  " 

Virginia Fitteen  " 

North  Carolina   Nine  " 

South  Carolina   Six  " 

Georgia   One  " 

"  That  twenty  dollars  be  given  as  a  bounty  to 
each  non-commissioned  ofificer  and  private  soldier 
who  shall  enlist  to  serve  during  the  present  war, 
unless  sooner  discharged  by  Congress. 

"That  Congress  make  provision  for  granting 
lands  in  the  following  proportions  to  the  officers  and 
soldiers,  who  shall  so  engage  in  the  service,  and 
continue  therein  till  the  close  of  the  war,  or  until 
discharged  by  Congress,  and  to  the  representatives 
of  such  officers  and  soldiers  as  shall  be  slain  by  the 
enemy. 

"  Such  lands  to  be  provided  by  the  United 
States  ;  and  whatever  expenses  shall  be  necessary 
to  procure  such  land,  the  said  expenses  shall  be 
paid  and  borne  by  the  .States,  in  the  same  propor- 
tion as  the  other  expenses  of  the  war,  viz  : 

To  a  Colonel   500  Acres. 

To  a  Lieutenant-Colonel 450 

To  a  Major 400 

To  a  Captain      300 

To  a  Lieutenant   200 

To  an  Ensign    150 

Each  non-commissioned  ofificer 

and  soldier 100        " 

By  an  act  of  the  12th  of  August,  1780,  Congress 
also  made  provision  of  land  bounties  for  Major 
Generals  and  Brigadier  Generals,  as  follows  : 

To  a  Major  General 1,100  Acres. 

To  a  Brigadier  General .....     850        " 

At  the  close  of  the  war,  in  1783,  the  Legislature 
of  the  State  of  New  York,  took  action  with  regard 
to  these  promised  bounty  lands,  not  only  with  a 
view  of  discharging  the  aforesaid  engagement  of 
Congress,  but,  in  consideration  of  the  virtue  and 
patriotism  of  the  troops  of  New  York,  to  add  there- 
to a  large  gratuity  of  State  lands.  The  resolution 
of  the  Senate  was  introduced  by  Mr.  Duane,  and 
is  dated  March  27,  1783.  It  is  in  the  words  fol- 
lowing : 


8 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


"  Resoh'fd  therrforty  >  if  the  honorable,  the  House 
of  Asscmhlv  concur  herein,)  That  besides  the 
bounty  of  i      \. 

laturc  will  .  1  s 

and  Brigadier  (icncrals  now  serving  in  the  line  of 
the  army  of  the  United  States,  and  being  citizens 
of  this  State  ;  and  the  officers,  non-commissioned 
officers  and  privates  of  the  two  re};inicnls  com- 
manded by  Colonels  Van  Schaick  and  Van  Cort- 
landt  ;  such  officers  of  the  regiment  of  artillery 
commanded  by  Colonel  Lamb,  and  of  the  corps  of 
sap|)ers  and  miners,  as  were  when  they  entered  the 
service,  inhabitants  of  this  State  ;  such  of  the  non- 
commissioned officers  and  privates  of  the  said  last 
mentioned  two  fnr|)s  as  are  credited  to  this  State 
as  part  of  the  troops  thereof;  all  officers  designated 
by  any  act  of  Congress  subsecpient  to  the  l6th  of 
September.  1776;  all  officers  recommended  by 
Congress  as  persons  whose  depreciation  on  pay 
ought  to  be  made  good  by  this  State,  and  who  may 
hold  military  commissions  in  the  line  of  the  army 
at  the  close  of  the  war  ;  and  the  Rev.  John  Mas"t)n 
antl  John  Gano.  shall  severally  have  granted  to 
them  the  following  quantities  of  land,  to  wit : 

To  a  NFajor  General   5  500  Acres. 

To  a  Brigadier  General 4.250       " 

To  a  Ciijoncl    ..  2,500        " 

To  a  Lieut  Ctjloncl    2,250       " 

To  a  Majtjr 2,000       " 

A  Captain  and  a  Regimental 

Surgeon  each ...  1,500       " 

Each  of  said  Chaplains. .  .   .2,000       " 
Every    Subaltern    and    Sur- 

i^foti's  Mate     r.ooo       " 

Every  non-commissioned  offi- 
cer and  private  .  500  " 
'•  That  the  lands  so  to  uc  gr.inted  as  bounty  from 
the  United  States,  and  as  gratuity  from  the  State, 
shall  he  laid  out  in  townships  of  six  miles  sqnarc  ; 
thai  each  township  shall  be  divided  into  156  lots  of 
150  acres  each,  two  lots  whereof  shall  be  reserved 
for  the  use  of  a  minister  or  ministers  of  the  gospel, 
and  two  lots  for  the  u.sc  of  a  school  or  schools:  that 
each  |)erson  above  described  shall  be  cntitleil  to  as 
many  such  lots  as  his  bounty  and  gratuity  land  as 
aforesaid  will  admit  of;  that  one-half  the  lots  each 
I>erso;i  shall  be  entitled  to  shall  be  improved  at  the 
rale  of  five  acres  for  each  hundred  acres,  within 
five  years  after  the  grant,  if  the  grantee  shall  re- 
tain the  jjosscssion  of  such  lots  ;  and  that  the  said 
bounty  antl  gratuity  lands  be  located  in  the  district 
of  this  State  reserved  for  the  u.se  of  the  troops  by 
an  act  entitled,  •'  An  Act  to  |)revcnt  grants  or  loca- 
tions of  the  lands  therein  mentioned,  passed  the 
2Sth  day  of  July,  1782. 

"  Rfschfti.  That  His  Excellency  the  Governor 
be  requested  to  communicate  the.se  resolutions  in 
such  manner  as  he  shall  conceive  most  proper. 

'■  Resolved.  That  this  House  do  concur  with  the 
Honorable,  the  Senate,  in  the  la«t  preceding  reso- 
lutions. 

••  Ordered,  That  Mr  John  Lawrence  and  Mr. 
H'  '  irry  a  copy  of  the  preceding  resolution 

of  I  rice  to  the  Ilonorahle,  the  Senate." 


Previous  to  the  date  of  the  above  extract  the 
Legislature  of  the  State  had  by  an  act  passed 
March  20,  1781,  further  provided  for  the  raising  of 
troops  to  complete  the  line  of  this  State  in  the  ser- 
vice of  the  United  States  ;  and  two  regiments  to 
be  raised  on  bounties  of  lands  and  for  the  further 
defense  of  the  frontier  of  the  State.  The  land 
granted  by  these  last  mentioned  acts  being  bounty 
lands ;  those  granted  as  provided  for  in  the  extracts 
above  being  gratuity  lands. 

The  original  acts  granting  these  lands  were  sub- 
sequently and  from  time  to  time  modified  and 
amended,  till  finally,  it  was  ordered  by  an  act 
passed  February  28,  1789,  "  That  the  Commission- 
ers of  the  land  office  shall  be,  and  they  are  hereby 
authorized  to  direct  the  Surveyor  General  to  lay 
out  as  many  townships  in  tracts  of  land  set  apart 
for  such  purposes  as  will  contain  land  sufficient  to 
satisfy  the  claims  of  all  such  persons  who  are  or 
shall  be  entitled  to  grants  of  land  by  certain  con- 
current resolutions  and  by  the  eleventh  clause  of 
the  act  entitled,  'An  Act  for  granting  certain  lands 
promised  to  be  given  as  bounty  lands  by  the  laws 
of  the  State,  and  for  other  purposes  therein  men- 
tioned, passed  the  iith  day  of  May,  1784;  which 
townships  shall  respectively  contain  60,000  acres 
of  land,  and  be  laid  out  as  nearly  in  squares  as 
local  circumstances  will  permit,  and  be  numbered 
from  one  progressively  to  the  last  inclusive  ;  and  the 
Commissioners  of  the  Land  Office  shall  likewise 
designate  every  township  by  such  name  as  they 
shall  deem  proper.'  " 

By  the  same  act  it  was  ordered  "  That  the  Sur- 
veyor General,  as  soon  as  maybe,  shall  make  a  map 
of  each  of  said  townships,  and  each  township  shall 
be  sub-divided  on  such  map  into  one  hundred  lots, 
as  nearly  square  as  may  be,  each  lot  to  contain  600 
acres,  or  as  near  that  quantity  as  may  be  ;  and  the 
lots  in  every  township  shall  be  numbered  from  one 
to  the  last,  inclusive,  in  numerical  order." 

After  such  map  had  been  made  and  deposited  in 
the  Surveyor  General's  office,  and  in  the  office  of 
the  Secretary  of  State,  the  Commissioners  were  or- 
dered, to  "  Advertise  for  six  successive  weeks  in  one 
or  more  newspapers  printed  in  each  of  the  cities  of 
New  York  and  Albany  (whereof  the  newspaper 
published  by  the  printer  to  this  State,  if  any  such 
there  be,  shall  be  one,)  requiring  all  persons  entitled 
to  grants  of  bounty  or  gratuity  lands,  who  had  not 
already  exhibited  ihcir  claims,  to  exhibit  the  same 
to  the  Commissioners  on  or  before  the  first  day  of 
January,  1791." 

By  the  same  act  it  was  further  ordered  that  "  All 
persons  to  whom  land  shall  be  granted  by  virtue  of 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


this  act,  and  who  are  entitled  thereto  by  any  actor 
resolution  of  Congress,  shall  make  an  assignment  of 
his,  or  her  proportion  and  claim  of  bounty  or 
gratuity  lands  under  any  act  or  acts  of  Congress  to 
the  Surveyor  General,  for  the  use  of  the  people  of 
this  State."  This  being  done  by  the  said  parties,  it 
was  provided  that  for  lands  thus  assigned  an  equal 
number  of  acres  were  to  be  given  by  the  State,  and 
so  far  as  possible  in  one  tract  and  under  one 
patent,  "  Provided  the  same  does  not  exceed 
one-quarter  of  the  quantity  of  a  township." 

It  was  also  further  provided  that  the  lands  to  be 
granted  by  this  act  be  actually  settled,  for  every 
six  hundred  acres  that  may  be  granted  to  any  per- 
son or  persons  within  seven  years  from  the  first  of 
January  next  after  the  date  of  the  patent  by  which 
such  lands  shall  be  granted  ;  and  on  failure  of  such 
settlement,  the  unsettled  lands  shall  revert  to  the 
people  of  this  State."  The  letters  patent  were 
ordered  "  To  be  in  such  words  and  forms  as  the 
Commissioners  shall  direct,  and  shall  contain  an  ex- 
ception and  reservation  to  the  people  of  this  State 
of  all  the  gold  and  silver  nti?ies!' 

By  an  act  passed  April  6,  1790,  it  was  ordered 
"  That  the  quantity  o'i fifty  acres ,  in  one  of  the  corners 
of  the  respective  lots  to  be  laid  out  in  squares  of 
600  acres,  shall  be  and  are  hereby  subjected  to  the 
payment  of  the  sum  of  forty-eight  (48)  shillings  to 
the  Surveyor-General,  as  a  compensation  in  full  for 
his  services  and  expenses  in  marking,  numbering 
and  surveying  each  of  the  said  lots ;  and  in  every 
case  where  the  said  sum  of  forty-eight  shillings,  or 
any  part  thereof,  shall  remain  unpaid  for  the  term 
of  two  years  next  after  the  issuing  of  the  respective 
patents,  it  shall  be  and  is  hereby  made  the  duty  of 
the  Surveyor-General  to  sell  the  same  at  public 
vendue  ;  and  the  money  arising  from  such  sales 
shall  be  applied  in  payment  of  expenses  of  such 
survey."  And  in  case  a  surplus  of  money  was  in 
the  hands  of  the  Surveyor-General,  after  paying 
such  expenses,  it  was  to  be  applied  to  the  payment 
of  expenses  in  laying  out  and  making  roads  in  the 
said  tract." 

By  an  act  of  February  28,  1789,  six  lots  in  each 
township  were  reserved  and  were  to  be  assigned, 
"  One  for  promoting  the  gospel  and  a  public  school 
or  schools,  one  other  for  promoting  literature  in  this 
State,  and  the  remaining  four  lots  to  satisfy  the 
surplus  share  of  commissioned  officers  not  corres- 
ponding with  the  division  of  600  acres,  and  to  com- 
pensate such  persons  as  may  by  chance  draw  any 
lot  or  lots,  the  greater  part  of  which  may  be  covered 
with  water." 

The  act  of  1780  provided  "  That  whenever  it  ap- 


peared that  persons  applying  for  bounty  or  gratuity 
land,  and  had  received  from  Congress  the  bounty 
promised  by  that  body,  or  in  case  they  failed  to  re- 
linquish their  claim  to  such  lands,  then  the  Com- 
missioners were  to  reserve  for  the  use  of  the  people 
of  the  State  one  hundred  acres  in  each  lot  to 
which  such  person  was  entitled ;  designating  par- 
ticularly in  which  part  of  such  lot  such  reserved 
part  was  located."  This  gave  rise  to  the  term 
"  States  Hundred]''  so  frequently  applied  to  sections 
of  land  in  the  Military  Tract. 

The  Land  Commissioners  consisted  of  "His  Ex- 
cellency, the  Governor,  or  person  administering  the 
government  of  the  State  for  the  time  being,  the 
Lieutenant  Governor,  the  Speaker  of  the  Assembly, 
the  Secretary  of  State,  the  Attorney-General,  the 
Treasurer  and  Auditor  thereof,  the  presence  of 
three  being  necessary  to  form  a  quorum." 

At  a  meeting  of  this  Commission  held  at  the 
Secretary's  office  in  the  City  of  New  York,  on 
Saturday,  the  3d  day  of  July,  1790,  there  were 
present.  His  Excellency, 

Geo.  Clinton,  Esq.,  Governor, 
Lewis  A.  Scott,  Esq.,  Secretary, 
Gerard  Bancker,  Esq.,  Treasurer, 
Peter  T.  Curtenius,  Esq.,  Auditor. 
"  The  Secretary  laid  before  the  Board  maps  of 
the  surveys  of  twenty-five  townships  made  by  the 
Surveyor-General,    Simeon    DeWitt ;    on    each   of 
which  maps  the  said   townships  respectively  were 
sub-divided  into  one  hundred  lots  as  nearly  square 
as  possible,  each  lot  containing  six  hundred  acres  ; 
whereupon    the  Board  caused  the  townships   and 
lots  therein  to  be  numbered  according  to  the  law, 
and  designated  them  by  the  names  of  distinguished 
men,  as  follows  : 

Township,  No.     i Lysander, 

"  "       2   Hannibal, 

"  "       3 Cato, 

"  "       4   Brutus, 

"  "       5 Camillus, 

"  "       6 . Cicero, 

"  "       7 Manlius, 

"  "       8 Aurelius, 

"  "       9 Marcellus, 

"  "     10 Pompey, 

"  "     II Romulus, 

"  "     12 Scipio, 

"  "     13. Sempronius, 

"  "     14 Tully, 

"  "     15 Fabius, 

"  "     16 Ovid, 

"  "     17 Milton, 

"  "  •  1 8 Locke, 

«  "     19 Homer, 

«  "     20 Solon, 

«  "     21 Hector, 


lO 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


Township  No.   22 Ulysses, 

"  "     23 Drydcn, 

•'     24     Virgil. 

"     25.. Cincinnatus, 

"    26 Junius. 

The  distinction  between  a  town  and  a  township 
should  here  be  kept  in  mind.  A  township  on  the 
Military  Tract,  was  a  particular  parcel  of  land  laid 
out,  containing  certain  one  hundred  lots.  In  our 
early  organization  a  town  often  embraced  several 
townships,  as  the  town  of  Pompcy  first  included 
Fabius  and  Tully  and  a  large  part  of  the  Onondaga 
Reservation.  After  settlements  increased,  for  the 
sake  of  convenience,  the  same  territory  has  been 
divided,  at  dirtVrent  |>erio<ls,  into  the  towns  of  Pom- 
pcy, Lafayette,  Fabius,  Tully,  Truxton  and  Preble, 
including  a  part  of  each  of  the  towns  of  Otisco, 
SpalTord  and  Onondaga.  The  same  may  be  re- 
marked of  other  towns  and  townships  on  the  Mili- 
tary Tract. 

On  the  1st  of  January,  1791,  the  Commissioners 
proceeded  to  determine  claims  and  to  ballot  for  each 
individual's  share.  Ninety-four  persons  drew  lots 
in  each  township.  One  lot  was  drawn  for  the  sup- 
port of  literature  in  the  State  of  New  York  ;  one 
was  assigned  near  the  centre  of  each  township  for 
the  support  of  the  gos|>el  and  (or  common  schools ; 
the  remaining  lots  went  to  satisfy  the  surplus  shares 
of  the  officers,  and  to  compensate  those  who  by 
chance  might  draw  lots  covered  with  water. 

The  equitable  adjustment  of  these  land  claims 
was  a  source  of  continual  embarrassment  and  per- 
plexity to  the  Commissioners  and  to  the  real 
owners. 

In  August,  1792,  the  Board  of  Commissioners, 
finding  it  necessary  in  order  to  comply  with  the 
grants  of  bounty  lands,  lately  directed  by  law  to  be 
made  to  the  Hospital  Department  and  others, 
caused  township  No.  27,  and  the  lots  therein  re- 
spectively to  be  numbered  agreeably  to  law,  and  the 
township  to  be  designated  by  the  name  of  Galen. 
In  January,  1795,  there  still  appeared  to  be  several 
unsatisfied  claims  for  military^bounty  lands,  and  the 
twenty-seven  townships  being  already  disposed  of, 
the  Hoard  resolved  that  the  Surveyor-General 
should  lay  out  another  township.  No.  28.  This  was 
subsequently  named  Sterling,  and  satisfied  all  the 
remaining  claims. 

In  January,  1794,  an  act  had  been  pasjed,  on  ac- 
count of  the  many  frauds  committed  respecting  the 
title  to  these  military  lands,  and  to  prevent  fraud  in 
the  future,  requiring  all  deeds  and  conveyances 
made  and  executed  prior  to  that  time  to  be  deposited 
with  the  Clerk  of  the  County  at  Albany,  for  ex- 
amination, and  all  such  as  were  not  so  deposited, 


should  be  considered  fraudulent.  The  names  of  a  I 
claimants  were  posted  up  in  alphabetical  order  in  ' 
the  Clerk's  offices  both  at  Albany  and  Herkimer,  _j 
for  the  more  full  inspection  of  all  parties  interested,  f  I 
The  Courts  overflowed  with  business  relating  to 
these  contested  claims.  Scarcely  a  lot  but  became 
more  or  less  a  subject  of  litigation.  Soldiers  com- 
ing to  take  possession  of  the  lots  for  which  they 
had  served,  were  obliged,  at  considerable  expense, 
to  eject  some  lawless  squatter,  or  quietly  to  yield 
their  hard  earned  titles.  At  length  the  inhabi- 
tants of  the  Military  Tract  became  so  com- 
pletely wearied  with  these  continued  and  vexing 
contentions  that,  in  1797,  the  residents  of  the  sev- 
eral townships  heartily  and  unanimously  united  in 
petitioning  the  Legislature  to  pass  a  law  authoriz- 
ing a  s|5cedy  and  equitable  mode  of  settling  all  dis- 
putes relative  to  these  titles.  An  act  was  there- 
upon passed,  appointing  Robert  Yates,  James 
Kent,  and  Vincent  Mathews,  a  Board  of  Commis- 
sioners with  full  power  to  hear,  examine,  award  and 
determine  all  disputes  respecting  the  titles  to  any 
and  all  the  military  bounty  lands.  The  Governor 
was  authorized  to  fill  all  vacancies  in  this  Board. 
From  the  record  of  the  awards  made  by  the  Onon- 
daga Commissioners,  the  name  of  James  Kent  does 
not  at  all  appear  in  their  transactions.  Most  of  the 
awards  of  1798  9  are  signed  by  Vincent  Mathews 
and  James  Emmott,  later  ones  by  Vincent  Mathews 
and  Robert  Yates,  and  some  cf  those  of  1801  and 
1802,  by  Messrs.  Mathews  and  Emmott  and  Sand- 
ers Livingston.  They  proceeded  to  the  work,  and 
after  a  laborious  investigation,  their  exertions  final- 
ly brought  these  vexed  and  lingering  contentions  to 
a  close. 


CHAPTER  III. 

Interesting  Early  Records — Town  Meetings — 
Formation  of  the  Counties  Prior  to  Onon- 
daga— Org.xnization  qf  Onondaga  Col'ntv. 

THERE  are  some  interesting  records  of  this 
locality  during  the  period  in  which  it  was  in- 
cluded in  Montgomery  and  Herkimer  counties, 
from  1772  to  1794.  In  1788  the  District  of  Ger- 
man Flats  was  divided,  and  all  that  part  of  the 
State  of  New  York  lying  west  of  a  line  drawn 
north  and  south  across  the  State,  crossing  the  Mo- 
hawk River' at  "Old  Fort  Schuyler"  (now  Utica) 
was  erected  into  a  town  called  Whitestown,  in  honor 
of  Judge  White,  who  had  settled  at  Sadaquate 
(Whitesboro)  in  1784.  In  1786,  the  county  of 
Montgomery  contained  a  population  of  only  fifteen 


I 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


II 


thousand  and  fifty-seven,  and  the  State  of  New 
York  only  two  hundred  and  thirty-eight  thousand 
eight  hundred  and  ninety-six.  At  this  period  the 
town  of  Whitestown  contained  less  than  two  hun- 
dred persons.  The  same  territory  now  contains 
several  millions.  The  wonderful  transition  by 
which,  in  three-fourths  of  a  century,  this  immense 
forest  has  been  converted  into  fruitful  fields,  seems 
like  the  illusion  of  a  dream  to  those  who  have  wit- 
nessed its  progress.  We  can  hardly  trust  the  evi- 
dence of  our  senses  when  we  look  back  and  see 
with  what  rapidity  villages  and  cities  have  sprung 
into  existence,  and  mark  the  increase  of  roads  and 
railways  over  the  path  of  the  wandering  savage. 

The  first  town  meeting  for  the  town  of  Whites- 
town  convened  at  the  house  of  Capt.  Daniel  White, 
in  said  town,  on  Tuesday,  the  7th  of  April,  "  agree- 
able to  warning,"  and  adjourned  to  the  barn  of  Hugh 
White,  Esq.,  "  it  being  more  convenient,"  at  which 
time  and  place  they  proceeded  as  follows  : 

"  1st.  Chose  Col.  Jedediah  Sanger,  Supervisor. 
2d.  Chose  Elijah  Blodget,  Town  Clerk.  3d. 
Chose  Amos  Wetmore,  first  Assessor.  4th.  Chose 
James  Bronson,  second  Assessor.  5th.  Chose 
Ephraim  Blackmore,  third  Assessor,"  &c. 

The  second  town  meeting  was  held  at  the  barn 
of  Needham  Maynard,  in  the  town  of  Whitestown, 
on  Tuesday,  the  i6th  of  April,  1790.  Col.  William 
Colbraith  was  chosen  Supervisor,  and  Elijah 
Blodget,  Town  Clerk.  In  1791,  Jedediah  Sanger 
was  elected  Supervisor  ;  Ashbel  Beach,  Town 
Clerk  ;  Ebenezer  Butler,  afterwards  of  Pompey, 
Collector  ;  James  Wadsworth,  of  Geneseo,  True- 
worthy  Cook,  of  Pompey,  Jeremiah  Gould,  of  Sa- 
lina.  Overseers  of  Highways.  Probably  "  High- 
ways "  in  those  days  in  Central  New  York  were 
literally  "  few  and  far  between."  It  will  convey 
some  idea  of  the  widespread  character  of  the  munic- 
ipality then  called  a  "  town  "  to  reflect  that  some 
of  the  officers  chosen  to  manage  its  internal  affairs 
lived  near  Utica,  others  in  Pompey  and  Salina,  and 
a  third  at  Geneseo. 

In  1789  the  county  of  Montgomery  was  divided, 
forming  Ontario  county  west  of  a  north  and  south 
line  drawn  across  the  .State  through  Seneca  Lake 
two  miles  east  of  Geneva.  Onondaga  county  then 
lay  unformed  in  the  western  portion  of  Mont- 
gomery. Herkimer  county  was  taken  from  Mont- 
gomery and  organized  in  1791.  It  included  all  the 
country  west  of  Montgomery,  north  of  Otsego  and 
Tioga  and  east  of  the  county  of  Ontario.  The  town 
of  Whitestown  was  divided  into  three  towns.  Whites- 
town  extended  west  from  its  eastern  limits  as  far  as 
the  present  west  line  of  Madison  county.  The 
■  town  of  Mexico  included  the  eastern  half  of  the 


Military  Tract,  and  the  town  of  Peru  the  western. 
The  town  of  Mexico  was  bounded  east  by  the  east- 
ern boundary  of  the  Military  Tract  and  a  line  drawn 
north  from  the  mouth  of  the  Chittenango  Creek 
across  Oneida  Lake  to  Lake  Ontario,  south  by 
Tioga  county,  west  by  the  western  boundary  of  the 
townships  of  Homer,  Tully,  Camillus,  Lysander  and 
Hannibal,  of  the  said  Military  Tract,  and  north  by 
Lake  Ontario. 

The  first  town  meeting  for  the  town  of  Mexico 
was  legally  appointed  to  be  held  at  the  house  of 
Benjamin  Morehouse,  (near  Jamesville,  this  county.) 
The  town  of  Peru  was  bounded  north  by  Lake  On- 
tario, east  by  the  town  of  Mexico,  south  by  Tioga 
county,  and  west  by  Ontario  county.  The  first  town 
meeting  was  directed  by  law  to  be  held  at  the  house 
of  Seth  Phelps,  in  what  is  now  the  town  of  Scipio, 
Cayuga  county.  There  are  probably  no  records  of 
these  town  meetings  extant. 

The  poll  for  the  first  general  election  for  Whites- 
town  was  opened  at  Cayuga  Ferry,  then  adjourned 
to  the  house  of  Benjamin  Morehouse  (near  James- 
ville,) thence  to  Rome,  and  finally  closed  at  Whites- 
boro. 

The  following  extract  from  Dunlap's  Daily  Ad- 
vertiser, dated  Philadelphia,  26th  of  July,  1792,  may 
be  interesting  as  showing  what  was  thought  of  the 
prospects  of  this  locality  at  that  period  : 

"Gentlemen  who  reside  on  the  Military  lands  in 
the  county  of  Herkimer,  inform  us  that  that  tract 
of  country  contains  a  very  great  proportion  of  rich 
land,  well  watered  and  timbered,  that  there  is  al- 
ready a  considerable  number  of  settlers  there,  and 
that  it  bids  fair  to  people  as  rapidly  as  any  part  of 
America.  That  sixteen  bushels  of  salt  are  daily 
manufactured  at  Major  Danforth's  works  at  the 
Salt  Springs,  and  that  Mr.  Van  Vleck,  formerly  of 
Kinderhook,  is  erecting  other  works  at  the  same 
place,  for  carrying  on  the  like  manufactory  ;  that 
salt  now  sells  there  for  five  shillings  per  bushel  ; 
that  it  weighs  about  fifty-six  pounds  per  bushel, 
and  is  equal  in  quality  to  that  of  Turk's  Island. 
That  the  salmon  fishing  in  that  country  must  be- 
come an  object  of  great  improvement,  as  that  fine 
fish  (the  salmon)  abounds  in  their  rivers  and  lakes 
in  spring  and  fall.  That  it  is  not  uncommon  for  a 
party  to  spear  twenty  or  fifty  in  an  evening,  from 
fourteen  to  thirty  pounds  each.  The  lands  sell  in 
general  at  from  one  shilling  to  three  shillings  per 
acre,  but  some  have  sold  as  high  as  from  eight  to 
twelve  shillings  per  acre." 

The  genealogy  of  the  different  counties  up  to  the 
formation  of  Onondaga  is  as  follows  : 

After  the  Duke  of  York  had  superceded  the 
Dutch  Government,  in  1683,  the  Province  of  New 
York  was  divided  into  twelve  counties,  viz  :  Albany, 
Dutchess,  Kings,  New  York,  Orange,  Queens, 
Richmond,    Suffolk,    Ulster,    Westchester,    Dukes 


12 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


and  Cornwall.  In  1768,  Cumberland  was  added, 
and  Gloucester  in  1770.  These  two  last  were  after- 
wards yielded  to  New  Hampshire,  and  finally  be- 
came a  part  of  Vermont.  In  1693,  the  counties  of 
Dukes  and  Cornwall  were  surrendered  to  Massa- 
chusetts. In  177;,  the  county  Tryon  was  formed 
from  Albany,  and  in  1784  changed  to  Montgomery. 
In  1789,  Ontario  county  was  formed  of  all  that 
part  of  Montgomery  county  west  of  a  line  drawn 
north  and  south  across  the  State  through  Seneca 
Lake  two  miles  east  of  Geneva.  Herkimer  county 
was  taken  from  Montgomery  and  organized  in  1791. 
It  included  all  the  country  west  of  Montgomery, 
north  of  Otsego  and  Tioga,  and  east  of  Ontario 
county. 

In  1794  the  CouNTV  of  Onondaga  was  erected 
from  the  western  part  of  Herkimer,  and  included 
all  the  Military  Tract,  which  now  embraces  all  the 
counties  ol  Cayuga.  Seneca,  Cortland  and  Onon- 
daga, all  that  part  of  Tompkins  lying  north  of  a 
line  drawn  west  from  the  head  of  Seneca  Lake  to 
the  southwest  corner  of  Cortland  county,  and  all 
that  part  of  Oswego  county  lying  west  of  Oswego 
river.  It  was  finally  reduced  to  its  present  terri- 
torial limits  in  i8iC>,  by  the  detachment  of  Cayuga 
in  1799.  Cortland  in  1808,  and  Oswego  in  1816. 
Tompkins  was  taken  from  Cayuga  and  Seneca  in 
18  r  7,  and  Wayne  from  Seneca  in  1823. 

At  the  time  Onondaga  county  was  originally  or- 
ganized, it  was  divided  into  eleven  towns,  viz : 
Homer,  Tompey.  Manlius.  Lysander,  Marcellus. 
Ulysses,  Milton.  Scipio,  Ovid.  Aurelius  and  Romu- 
lus. 


CHAPTKR  IV. 

TiiK  Iroquois  Confederacy — Extent  and  I'ow- 
KK  of  TIIK  Eivk  Nations — Kokmation  oftheik 

CONFF.DKKAt:V — I'ECULIARITIKS   OF    THEIR    FoKM 

OF  Government  —  The  OxoNnACAS  —  Their 
Central  Position  as  keepers  of  the  Sacred 
Council  Tires — Their  Character.  Tradi- 
tions AND  Customs. 

AT  the  time  of  the  earliest  European  discov- 
eries in  this  locality,  the  territory  now  em- 
braced in  Onondaga  county  was  the  chief  scat  of 
the  nation  of  Indians  from  whom  it  derives  its 
name.  This  powerful  nation  was  the  central  in  the 
great  Iroquois  Confederacy,  or  League  of  the  Five 
Nations,  whose  dominion  included  a  vast  extent  of 
country,  and  who  held  the  ascendancy  over  nearly 
all  the  tribes  of  North  America.  At  one  time  their 
actual   domain    extended    from    the  Sorrel   River, 


south  by  the  great  lakes,  to  the  Mississippi  on  the 
west,  thence  east  to  the  Santee,  and  coast-wise  back 
to  the  Hudson.  The  territory  of  the  Iroquois 
possessed  more  fertile  land,  combined  with  a  tem- 
perate and  healthy  climate,  than  any  other  tract  of 
equal  extent  on  the  globe.  And  their  power  and 
dominion  extended  far  beyond  these  geographical 
boundaries.  Although  they  occupied,  as  their 
proper  home,  what  they  metaphorically  termed  the 
"  Long  House '" — that  is,  the  territory  of  New 
York  extcniling  from  the  Hudson  to  Lake  Eric, 
yet  they  extended  their  power  and  influence  far  be- 
yond these  limits  and  held'  the  tribes  both  of  the 
East  and  the  West  in  subjection. 

Says  Smith,  in  his  History  of  New  York : 
"  When  the  Dutch  began  the  settlement  of  this 
country,  all  the  Indians  on  Long  Island  and  the 
northern  shore  of  the  Sound,  on  the  banks  of  the 
Connecticut,  Hudson.  Delaware  an3  Susquehanna 
livers  were  in  subjection  to  the  Five  Nations  and 
acknowledged  it  by  paying  them  tribute."  The 
French  historians  of  Canada,  both  ancient  and 
modern,  agree  that  the  more  northern  Indians  were 
driven  far  back  to  the  west  and  northwest  by  the 
martial  prowess  of  the  Confederates,  "  The  Ho-de- 
no-sau-nee  occupied  our  precise  territory,  and  their 
council  fires  burned  continually  from  the  Hudson  to 
the  Niagara.  Our  old  forests  have  rung  with  their 
war  shouts  and  been  enlivened  with  their  festivals 
of  peace.  In  their  progressive  course  they  had 
stretched  round  half  the  Republic  and  rendered 
their  names  a  terror  nearly  from  ocean  to  ocean, 
when  the  advent  of  the  Saxon  race  arrested  their 
career,  and  prepared  the  way  for  the  final  extin- 
guishment of  the  fires  of  the  Confederacy."* 

The  Five  Nations  have  been  called  by  some  the 
"  Spartans  of  the  Western  Wilderness,"  by  others, 
the  •'  Romans  0/  the  New  World  ;"  their  warriors 
in  the  prime  of  the  Confederacy,  were  noted  for 
their  valor  and  their  far-e.xtended  conquests. 

"  At  one  period,"  says  Schoolcraft,  "  we  hear  the 
sound  of  their  war  cry  along  the  Straits  of  St. 
Marys  and  at  the  foot  of  Lake  Superior;  at  an- 
other under  the  walls  of  Quebec  where  they  finally 
defeated  the  Hurons  under  the  eyes  of  the  French. 
They  put  out  the  fires  of  the  Gahkas  and  Eries. 
They  eradicated  the  Susquchannocks.  They 
placed  the  Lanappes,  the  Nanticokes  and  Muncecs 
under  the  yoke  of  subjection.  They  put  the 
Metoacks  and  Manhattans  under  tribute.  They 
spread  the  terror  of  their  name  all  over  New 
England.  They  traversed  the  whole  length  of  the 
Appalachian  Chain,  and  descended  like  the  enraged 

*L«(icr>  un  the  Irixjuoi) — American  Review. 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


13 


yagisho  and  megalonyx  on  the  Cherokees  and 
Catavvbas.  Smith  encountered  their  warriors  in 
the  settlement  of  Virginia  and  LaSalle  on  the  dis- 
covery of  the  Illinois."* 

Such  had  become  the  Iroquois — the  conquerors 
and  terror  of  all  the  surrounding  tribes — by  the 
force  of  their  energy  and  by  the  principle  of  con- 
federation. The  French  computed  the  number  of 
their  warriors,  in  1660,  at  between  two  and  three 
thousand,  and  a  later  census,  taken  by  an  English 
agent,  confirmed  the  statement.  Their  geographi- 
cal position  made  them  the  umpires  in  the  contest 
of  the  French  for  dominion  in  the  West.  Their 
political  importance  was  enhanced  by  their  con- 
quests. "  Not  only  did  they  claim  some  supremacy 
in  northern  New  England,  as  far  as  the  Kennabeck, 
and  to  the  south,  as  far  as  New  Haven,  and  were 
acknowledged  as  absolute  lords  over  the  conquered 
Lanappe  ;  the  peninsula  of  Upper  Canada  was  their 
hunting  ground  by  right  of  war  ;  they  had  ex- 
terminated the  Eries  and  Andasties,  both  tribes  of 
their  own  family,  one  dwelling  on  the  southeastern 
banks  of  Lake  Erie,  the  other  on  the  head  waters 
of  the  Ohio  ;  they  had  triumphantly  invaded  the 
tribes  of  the  West  as  far  as  Illinois  ;  their  warriors 
had  reached  the  soil  of  Kentucky  and  Western 
Virginia  ;  and  England,  to  whose  alliance  they 
.  steadily  inclined,  availed  herself  of  their  treaties  to 
•encroach  on  the  empire  of  France  in  America."! 

Precisely  at  what  period  the  confederacy  between 
the  tribes  was  formed  is  not  known.  Schoolcraft 
thinks  it  was  at  a  comparatively  recent  date,  prob- 
ably early  in  the  fifteenth  century.  Mr.  Webster, 
the  Onondaga  interpreter,  says  this  great  league  of 
confederation  was  arrived  at,  about  two  generations 
before  the  whites  became  traders  with  the  Indians. 
Mr.  Clark  has  a  different  opinion.  From  the  per- 
manency of  their  institutions,  the  injtricacy  of  their 
civil  affairs,  the  stability  of  their  religious  beliefs 
and  the  uniformity  of  their  pagan  ceremonies, 
diftering  from  other  Indians  in  important  particu- 
lars, he  is  inclined  to  the  belief  that  their  federa- 
tive existence  must  have  had  a  much  longer  dura- 
tion. All  their  traditions  agree  that  the  union  was 
effected  on  the  banks  of  Onondaga  Lake  where  the 
village  of  Liverpool  is  now  situated. 

It  is  well  known  that  these  tribes  attributed  the 
origin  of  their  confederacy,  as  well  as  most  of 
their  chief  national  blessings,  to  the  supernatural 
interposition  of  Ta-oun-ya-wat-ha.  the  deity  who 
presided  over  streams  and  fisheries.  A  long  time 
ago   this  deity   came  down  irom  his  place  in  the 

*Schoolcraft3  Notes. 

f Bancroft.  .History  United  States. 


clouds  to  teach  them  how  to  cultivate  the  soil  and 
to  be  united,  happy  and  prosperous.  While  he  was 
living  among  them — having  thrown  aside  his  divine 
character  and  assumed  the  name  of  Hi-a-wat-ha,  a 
very  wise  man — there  was  an  alarm  caused  by  the 
sudden  approach  of  a  ferocious  band  of  warriors 
from  north  of  the  great  lakes.  Many  had  been 
slain  and  ultimate  destruction  seemed  to  be  the 
consequence  either  of  bold  resistance  or  of  quiet 
submission  to  the  enemy.  At  this  trying  moment 
Hi-a-wat-ha  was  sought  for  advice,  and  no  states- 
man of  to-day  could  have  given  better  counsel  in  as 
few  words.  ''Become  a  united  people  and  yon  will 
conqtier your  enemies.  Dispatch  runners  in  all  di- 
rections and  notify  the  chiefs  of  a  grand  council  to 
be  held  on  the  banks  of  the  Oh-nen-ta-ha,  (Onon- 
daga Lake.)  I  shall  sit  in  council  with  you."  The 
council  fires  had  been  kindled  three  days,  but  the 
venerable  Hi-a-wat-ha  had  not  made  his  appearance. 
On  approaching  his  cabin  he  was  found  in  a  melan- 
choly state  of  mind.  The  old  man  told  them  he 
had  evil  forebodings,  and  that  he  had  concluded 
not  to  attend  the  Great  Council.  But  the  chiefs 
had  determined  not  to  deliberate  in  council  without 
the  presence  of  Hi-a-wat-ha,  and  he  was  finally  pre- 
vailed upon  to  go,  accompanied  b\'  his  darling 
child,  an  only  daughter,  twelve  years  of  age.  On 
the  approach  of  the  venerable  wise  man,  a  general 
shout  of  joy  resounded  through  the  assembled  host, 
and  every  demonstration  of  respect  was  paid  to  his 
presence. 

As  he  landed  and  was  passing  up  the  steep  bank 
towards  the  council  ground,  a  loud  sound  was  heard 
like  a  rushing,  mighty  wind.  All  eyes  were  instant- 
ly turned  upwards,  and  a  dark  spot  was  seen  rapidly 
descending  from  on  high  among  the  clouds.  It 
grew  larger  and  larger  as  it  neared  the  earth,  and 
was  descending  with  fearful  velocity  into  their 
midst.  The  utmost  confusion  prevailed  throughout 
the  assembled  multitude,  and  all  but  the  venerable 
Hi-a-wat-ha  sought  safety  by  flight.  He  gravely 
uncovered  his  silvered  head,  and  besought  his 
daughter  to  await  the  approaching  danger  with  be- 
coming resignation,  at  the  same  time  reminding  her 
of  the  great  folly  and  impropriety  of  attempting  to 
prevent  or  obstruct  the  designs  or  wishes  of  the 
Great  Spirit.  No  sooner  liad  his  resolution  become 
fixed  and  his  last  words  uttered,  than  an  immense 
bird,  with  a  long  and  pointed  beak,  and  widespread 
wings,  came  down  with  a  mighty  swoop'and  crushed 
the  beautiful  girl  to  the  earth.  His  darling  daughter 
has  been  killed  before  his  eyes  in  a  marvelous  man- 
ner, and  her  destroyer  has  perished  with  her.  It 
was  found  on  examination  that  the  creature  in  its 


>4 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


descent  had  completely  buried  its  beak  and  neck  up 
to  its  body  in  the  ground.  It  was  covered  with  a 
beautiful  plumage  of  snow  white,  and  ever)-  warrior 
as  he  advanced  plucked  a  plume  from  this  singular 
bird  with  which  to  adorn  his  crown,  and  from  this 
incident  the  braves  of  the  Confederate  Nation  for- 
ever after  made  choice  of  the  plumes  of  the  white 
heron  as  their  most  appropriate  military  ornament 
while  on  the  war  path. 

In  despair  and  dejection  Hi-a-wat-ha  remained 
three  days  and  nights  prostrated  on  his  face  on  the 
ground,  and  while  every  one  participated  in  his 
afflictions,  no  one  seemed  inclined  to  approach  or 
distract  his  entranced  state,  and  the  Indians,  almost 
despairing  of  a  council,  were  about  to  depart  ;  but 
a  few  of  the  leading  chiefs  consulted  together,  and 
resolved  that  nothing  should  be  attempted  without 
the  voice  of  the  wise  man,  and  a  suitable  person 
was  thereupon  dispatched  to  sec  if  he  breathed. 
Finding  that  he  lived  Ho-see-noke  was  directed  to 
arouse  him  by  his  merry  heart,  to  whisper  kind 
words  in  his  ear  and  call  him  from  his  reverie. 
After  much  ceremony  and  persuasion,  he  recovered 
so  far  as  to  converse,  and  after  several  messages  had 
passed  between  the  assembled  chiefs  and  himself, 
he  arose  and  desired  fcod.  He  was  afterwards  con- 
ducted to  the  presence  of  the  council,  when  all 
eyes  were  turned  towards  the  only  man  who  could 
with  precision  foretell  their  future  destiny.  Vari- 
ous schemes  were  proposed  to  repel  the  enemy. 
Hi-a-wat-ha  listened  in  silence  till  the  speeches 
of  all  were  concluded.  He  then  spoke.  After 
briefly  alluding  to  his  own  calamity,  he  referred  to 
the  threatened  invasion,  and  proposed  that  they 
should  reflect  for  a  day  on  the  speeches  that  had 
been  made.  After  the  expiration  of  the  time  they 
again  met,  when  the  wise  man  thus  addressed  them  : 

"  Friends  and  Brothers  :  \ou  have  come  many 
of  you  a  great  distance  from  your  homes  ;  you  have 
convened  for  one  common  purpose,  to  promote  one 
common  interest,  and  that  is  to  provide  for  our 
common  safety.  To  oppose  these  hordes  of  north- 
ern foes  by  tribes,  singly  and  alone,  would  prove 
our  certain  destruction.  We  can  make  no  progress 
in  that  way ;  we  must  unite  ourselves  into  one 
common  band  of  brothers.  Our  warriors  united 
would  surely  repel  these  rude  invaders  and  drive 
them  from  our  borders.  Let  this  be  done,  and  we 
are  safe. 

■•  You,  the  Mohawks,  sitting  under  the  shadow  of 
the  'Great  Tree,'  whose  roots  sink  deep  into  the 
earth,  and  who.se  branches  spread  over  a  vast  coun- 
try, shall  be  the  first  nation,  because  you  are  war- 
like and  mighty. 

"  You,  Uneidas,  a  people  who  recline  your  bodies 
against  the  'Everlasting  Stone'  that  cannot  be 
moved,  shall  be  the  second  nation,  because  you  give 
wise  counsel. 


"  You,  Onondagas,  who  have  your  habitation  at 
the  'Great  Mcuntain,'  and  are  overshadowed  by  its 
crags,  shall  be  the  third  nation,  because  you  are 
greatly  gifted  in  speech  and  mighty  in  war. 

"  You,  Cayugas,  a  people  whose  habitation  is  the 
'Dark  Forest!  and  whose  home  is  everywhere,  shall 
be  the  fourth  nation,  because  of  your  superior  cun- 
ning in  hunting 

"And  you,  Senecas,  a  people  who  live  in  the 
open  country  and  possess  much  wisdom,  shall  be 
the  fifth  nation,  because  you  understand  better  the 
art  of  raising  corn  and  beans,  and  making  cabins." 

"  You  five  great  and  powerful  nations  must  unite 
and  have  but  one  common  interest,  and  no  foe  shall 
be  able  to  disturb  or  subdue  you." 

Immediately  upon  this  was  formed  the  celebrated 
league  of  the  Five  Nations.  Such  was  the  name 
given  them  by  the  English.  The  French  called 
them  the  Iroquois  ;  the  Dutch  name  for  them  was 
Maquas,  while  they  called  themselves  Mingoes ;  all 
meaning  United  People.  They  were  known  to  the 
English  as  the  Five  Nations  till  the  adoption  of  the 
Tuscaroras  in  1712,  after  which  they  were  called 
the  Si.x  Nations. 

The  Onondagas  occupied  the  central  position  in 
the  "  Long  House  " — a  term  by  which  they  denoted 
their  possessions  from  the  Hudson  to  the  Lakes. 
They  kept  the  sacred  council  fires  at  Onondaga, 
and  the  key  of  the  council  house,  where  all  the 
chief  councils  of  the  Five  Nations  were  held.  The 
Mohawks  held  the  east  door  and  the  Senecas  the 
west  door.  The  confederacy  was  governed  by  heredi- 
tary chiefs  whose  claims  were  subjected  to  the  decis- 
ions of  a  national  council.  Thus  the  aristocratic  prin- 
ciple was  brought  into  subjection  to  the  democratic. 
When  the  hereditary  chief  demanded  office,  if 
found  unworthy,  he  must  give  place  to  the  next  in 
order.  In  council  they  were  a  pure  republic,  the 
veto  of  one  chief  being  sufficient  to  defeat  a  meas- 
ure.* Each  canton  or  tribe  was  independent ;  its 
quota  of  men  was  freely  voted  in  war,  or  refused, 
without  complaint  from  other  cantons.  Thus  was 
guaranteed  to  each  tribe  its  independence  and 
security,  and  to  each  warrior  his  equal  rights,  while 
general  power  was  conceded  to  the  confederacy  in 
all  national  matters.  Canassatego,  one  of  the  chiefs, 
said  to  the  Commissioners  of  Pennsylvania,  Virginia 
and  Maryland  :  "  Our  wise  forefathers  established 
union  and  amity  between  the  Five  Nations.  This 
has  made  us  formidable.  This  has  given  us  great 
weight  and  authority  with  our  neighboring  nations. 
We  are  a  powerful  confederacy,  and  by  observing 
the  same  methods  our  forefathers  have  taken,  you 
will  acquire  fresh  strength  and  power ;  therefore  I 
counsel  you,  whatever  befalls  you,  never  fall  out 
with  one  another." 

•  Schoolcraft. 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


IS 


At  the  formation  of  the  confederacy,  the  famous 
A-TO-TAR-HO  presided  :  unequalled  in  war  and  arts, 
his  fame  had  spread  abroad  and  exalted  the  Onon- 
daga tribe  to  a  preeminent  position.  His  name 
was  "  Like  that  of  King  Arthur  of  the  Round  Table, 
or  those  of  the  Paladins  of  Charlemagne,  used  as 
an  exemplar  of  glory  and  honor,"  *  and  became 
the  title  of  office  of  the  Presiding  Chief  The  right 
of  the  Onondagas  to  furnish  a  presiding  officer  for 
the  league  was  conceded,  and  is  still  possessed  by 
them.  To  the  Mohawks  was  awarded  the  Te-ka-ra- 
ho-ga,  or  Chief  War  Captain.  The  Great  Council 
has  always  consisted  of  six  members,  each  nation 
having  one  except  the  Senecas,  who  were  allowed 
two,  in  consideration  of  their  great  numerical 
strength.  Its  powers  were  merely  advisory,  aiming 
to  arrive  at  harmonious  results  by  interchange  of 
opinion  without  formal  vote.  No  penalties  could 
be  inflicted  or  power  exerted  beyond  that  of  Opinion. 
A  unanimous  decision  was  first  required  :  this  once 
obtained,  its  authority  was  absolute ;  each  tribe 
acting  through  its  representative,  who  was  first 
informed  as  to  its  views.  These  decisions  were  in 
fact  clothed  with  all  the  power  of  the  most  popular 
expression  of  the  whole  confederacy. 

"  A  government  like  this  gave  to  the  orator,  who 
by  his  eloquence  could  sway  his  people,  a  vast 
influence,  and  we  find  that  many  men  of  note  have 
appeared  among  them,  since  they  came  in  contact 
with  more  learned  races  of  men,  who  were  abun- 
dantly qualified  to  conduct  their  negotiations,  and 
have  reflected  as  much  renown  on  their  nation  as 
their  bravest  warriors."  f  De  Witt  Clinton  says  of 
the  speech  of  Garangula  to  the  French  General, 
De  la  Barre  :  "  I  believe  it  impossible  to  find  in  all 
the  effusions  of  ancient  or  modern  oratory  a  speech 
more  appropriate  or  convincing.  Under  the  veil  of 
respectful  profession  it  conveys  the  most  biting 
irony,  and  while  it  abounds  with  rich  and  splendid 
imagery,  it  contains  the  most  solid  reasoning.  I 
place  it  in  the  same  rank  with  the  celebrated  speech 
of  Logan." 

The  unwritten  law  of  this  wonderful  people  had 
a  power  unequalled  by  any  statutes  ever  recorded 
in  books.  A  single  instance  of  its  power  will  be 
sufficient.  It  is  given  by  Hon.  George  Geddes  on 
the  authority  of  Mr.  Webster,  who  lived  many  years 
among  the  Onondagas,  and  had  a  woman  of  that 
tribe  for  a  wife. 

A  young  man  of  the  Cayugas  came  to  the  Onon- 
dagas and  claimed  their  hospitality.  He  lived  among 
them    two   years,   attaching   himself    to    Webster 

*  Schoolcraft. 

f  Hon.  George  Geddes. 


particularly.  He  appeared  contented  and  happy, 
"  Always  foremost  in  the  chase,  most  active  in  the 
dance,  and  loudest  in  the  song."  Mantinoah  was 
his  name.  One  morning  he  said  to  his  friend,  "  I 
have  a  vow  to  perform.  My  nation  and  my  friends 
know  that  Mantinoah  will  be  true.  My  friend,  I  wish 
you  to  go  with  me."  Webster  consented.  After  a 
pleasant  journey  of  a  few  days,  enlivened  with  fish- 
ing and  hunting,  they  came  in  the  afternoon  to  a 
place  that  Mantinoah  said  was  near  his  village,  and 
where  he  wished  to  invoke  the  Great  Spirit.  After 
a  repast,  and  a  pipe  had  been  smoked,  Mantinoah 
said  :  "  Two  winters  have  gone  since  in  my  village, 
in  the  fury  of  anger,  I  slew  my  bosom  friend  and 
adopted  brother.  The  chief  declared  me  guilty  of 
my  brother's  blood,  and  I  must  die.  My  execution 
was  deferred  for  two  full  years,  during  which  time  I 
was  condemned  to  banishment.  I  vowed  to  return. 
It  was  then  I  sought  your  nation  ;  it  was  thus  I 
won  your  friendship.  The  nearest  in  blood  to  him 
I  slew,  according  to  our  customs,  is  the  avenger. 
The  time  expires  when  the  sun  sinks  behind  the 
topmost  boughs  of  the  trees.  I  am  ready.  My 
friend,  we  have  had  many  a  cheerful  sport  together; 
our  joys  have  been  many  ;  our  griefs  have  been  few ; 
look  not  sad  now.  When  you  return  to  the  Onon- 
dagas, tell  them  that  Mantinoah  died  like  a  true 
brave  of  the  Cayugas  ;  tell  them  that  he  trembled 
not  at  the  approach  of  death,  like  the  coward  pale 
face,  nor  shed  tears  like  a  woman.  My  friend,  take 
my  belt,  my  knife,  my  hunting  pouch,  my  horn,  my 
rifle,  as  tokens  of  my  friendship.  Soon  the  avenger 
will  come  ;  the  Great  Spirit  calls  ;  Mantinoah  fears 
not  death  ;  farewell."  Vainly  Webster  urged  him 
to  escape.  A  short  period  of  silence,  and  a  yell  is 
heard.  Mantinoah  responds.  The  avenger  appears 
and  takes  the  hand  of  his  former  friend,  now  his 
victim.  Mutual  salutations  follow,  with  expressions 
of  regret  made  by  the  executioner,  but  none  by  the 
doomed.  The  tomahawk  gleams  in  the  air,  not  a 
muscle  moves,  nor  does  the  cheek  of  Mantinoah 
blanch  ;  folding  his  arms  on  his  breast  he  receives 
the  blow.  As  if  by  magic  a  host  appears,  the  song 
of  death  is  sung,  and  the  solemn  dance  or  death 
march  is  performed.  Webster  is  invited  to  the 
village,  where  he  is  hospitably  entertained,  and  when 
ready  to  return  is  accompanied  by  a  party  of  Cay- 
ugas to  his  home. 

Thus  powerful  was  the  unwritten  law  of  the 
Iroquois. 

It  is  not  easy  for  us  to  understand  this  people, 
for  we  know  but  little  of  their  peculiar  springs  of 
action.  They  had  their  religion,  which  the  white 
people  who  came  amongst  them  called  their  supersti- 


l6 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


51 


tion.  If  superstition  it  be,  it  was  nevertheless  the 
principle  that  governed  them.  And  did  we  but 
understand  their  ideas  fully,  we  should  know  by 
what  standard  to  judge  them.  Whoever  has  learned 
much  of  their  history,  knows  that,  in  their  savage 
state,  woman,  made  prisoner,  was  never  indelicately 
approached  by  him.  who.  without  pity,  would  brain 
her  infant  child.  lie  tortured  and  killed  his  prison- 
ers, if  he  did  not  .iilopt  ihcm  into  his  family,  but  he 
never  enslaved  or  outraged  women  Wh.it  nthcr 
nation  can  say  this  with  truth  .'  * 

•Mr.  Schoolcraft  says  that,  to  understand  the 
government  of  the  Iroquois  and  learn  how  it 
acquired  its  power  and  fame,  it  is  necessary  to 
examine  their  law  of  descent.  Each  canton  was 
divided  into  distinct  clans,  each  of  which  was  distin- 
guishcil  by  the  name  and  device  of  some  quadruped, 
bird,  or  other  object  in  the  animal  kingdom.  The 
clans,  or  original  families,  were  eight,  distinguished 
respectively  by  the  totems  of  the  wolf,  the  bear,  the 
turtle,  the  deer,  the  beaver,  the  falcon,  the  crane 
and  the  plover.  The  law  of  marriage  re(|uired 
them  to  marry  into  families  or  clans  whose  totem 
was  different  from  their  own.  A  wolf  or  turtle 
male  could  not  marry  a  wolf  or  turtle  female.  This 
interdict  of  consanguinity,  preserved  the  purity  of 
the  blood,  while  it  enlarged  and  strengthened  the 
tie  of  relationship  between  the  clans  Owing  to 
the  limitation  of  descent  to  the  line  of  the  female, 
a  chieftain's  son  could  not  succeed  him  in  office, 
but  in  case  of  his  death  he  would  be  succeeded  by 
his  brother,  or  failing  this,  by  the  son  of  his  sister, 
or  by  some  direct  or  remote  descendant  of  the 
maternal  line.  The  man  who,  by  inheritance,  was 
entitled  to  the  office  of  chieftainship,  was  obliged, 
on  arriving  at  the  proper  age,  to  submit  his  right 
to  a  council  of  the  whole  canton.  Incapacity  was 
always  and  without  exception  recognized  as  a  valid 
objection  to  approval. 

Each  canton  had  its  eight  principal  chiefs  and 
various  assistant  chiefs,  who  were  civil  officers. 
The  war  chiefs  derived  their  consequence  from  their 
success  in  war  ;  they  rose  up  as  the  exigencies  of 
the  nation  demanded,  and  sustained  themselves  by 
their  cap.icity.  All  males  were  bound  to  render 
military  .services.  Disgrace  was  the  penalty  of 
failure.  Thus  the  ranks  were  always  full,  and  all 
war  parties  consisted  of  volunteers.  Each  warrior 
supplied  and  carried  his  own  arms  and  provisions. 
The  enlistment  consisted  in  simply  joining  the  war 
dance.  .The  government  was  in  fact  a  pure  de- 
•  mocr.icy  controlled  by  its  martial  spirit. 

The   Iroquois  have  been   charged  with  making 
*Hoa.  Gcor|c  Geddci. 


their  women  beasts  of  burden,  while  they  lived 
lives  of  indolence.  The  division  of  labor  between 
the  sexes,  it  is  true,  differed  widely  from  ours.  To 
the  warrior  was  assigned  the  duty  of  hunting  food 
and  protecting  their  hunting  grounds  from  the 
inroads  of  the  enemy.  His  life  was  daily  in  his 
hands,  and  such  were  the  hazards  he  encountered 
that  there  always  were  more  women  than  men  in 
the  tribes.  The  men  spent  long  dreary  seasons  in 
hunting  and  taking  furs,  which,  when  brought  home, 
became  the  property  of  their  wives,  who  sold  them 
to  the  traders,  and  with  the  avails  made  such  pro- 
vision for  the  rest  of  the  family  as  they  could,  the 
men  standing  silently  by  and  not  uttering  a  word. 
The  old  men,  women  and  boys  cultivated  the  little 
patch  of  corn  and  gathered  the  fuel.  Koth  in  the 
social  and  national  systems,  the  women  had  great 
power  and  influence.  The  matrons  sat  in  council, 
and  had  a  right  to  propose  a  cessation  of  arms. 
There  was  a  male  functionary,  an  acknowledged 
orator,  whose  duty  it  was  to  speak  for  the  women. 
Schoolcraft  describes  the  social  character  of  the 
Indian  thus  :  "  In  the  lodge  he  is  a  mild,  considerate 
man,  of  the  non-interfering  and  non-scolding  species. 
He  may,  indeed,  be  looked  upon  rather  as  the  guest 
of  his  wife,  than  what  he  is  most  unjustly  repre- 
sented to  be,  her  tyrant,  and  he  is  often  only  known 
as  the  lord  of  the  lodge  by  the  attention  and  respect 
she  shows  to  him.  He  is  a  man  of  few  words.  If 
her  temper  is  rufHcd.hc  smiles.  If  he  is  displeased 
he  walks  away.  It  is  a  province  in  which  his  actions 
acknowledgehcr  right  to  rule,  and  it  is  one  in  which 
his  pride  and  manliness  have  exalted  him  above 
the  folly  of  altercation."  The  wife  owned  all  the 
property  ;  arms  only  belonged  to  the  husband.  The 
family  were  hers,  and  when  war  or  the  chase  had 
made  the  father  a  victim,  she,  who  had  always  been 
at  its  head,  kept  it  unbroken.  With  the  Iroquois 
war  was  the  business  of  life,  and  the  pursuit  of  an 
enemy  on  the  war  path,  or  hunting  the  wild  beasts 
of  the  forests,  were  the  only  employments  that  men 
could  engage  in  without  subjecting  themselves  to 
the  loss  of  rank,  and  the  liability  of  being  called 
women. 

The  central  tribe  was  the  seat  of  government,  and 
here  all  the  general  councils  were  held  and  the 
policy  of  the  nation  settled.  The  first  we  know  of 
this  people,  they  here  swayed  the  sceptre  of  an 
empire  twelve  hundred  miles  long  and  eight  hundred 
wide.  The  means  of  free  and  rapid  transportation 
of  armies  was  to  these  savages  the  same  advantage 
that  it  is  to  the  most  artificial  state  of  society. 
Around  the  shores  of  Onondaga  Lake  the  councils 
deliberated,  and  when  once  the  plan  of  the  cam- 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


17 


paign  was  arranged,  the  canoes  were  afloat,  and 
soon  far  down  the  St.  Lawrence,  the  Adirondack 
heard  the  war  whoop  of  the  "  Men  of  the  moun- 
tains."* Or  on  the  banks  of  Georgian  Bay  the 
trembling  Huron  felt  the  weight  of  their  power. 
Or  launching  their  barks  on  the  waters  of  the 
Susquehanna,  soon  on  the  shores  of  Chesapeake 
Bay  they  dictated  terms  to  their  enemies.  Fort 
Hill,  in  South  Carolina,  afterwards  the  residence 
of  John  C.  Calhoun,  was  one  of  their  stations, 
from  which  they  waged  inveterate  war  upon  the 
Catawbas  and  Cherokees.  The  Iroquois  nation 
could  bring  to  battle  more  than  two  thousand  war- 
riors of  their  own  blood,  besides  levies  of  the  tribes 
they  had  subjected.  Their  policy  in  regard  to  con- 
quered enemies  was  like  that  of  ancient  Rome  :  they 
were  converted  into  allies  rather  than  slaves,  and 
having  been  fairly  conquered  in  war,  after  a  brave 
resistance,  they  were  counted  as  younger  brothers, 
worthy  to  fight  by  the  side  of  their  conquerors  and 
share  their  glory. f 

"They  reduced  war  to  a  science,  and  all  their 
movements  were  directed  by  system  and  policy. 
They  never  attacked  a  hostile  country  till  they  had 
sent  out  spies  to  e.xplore  and  designate  its  vulnerable 
points,  and  when  they  encamped  they  observed  the 
greatest  circumspection  to  guard  against  surprise. 
Whatever  superiority  of  force  they  might  have,  they 
never  neglected  the  use  of  stratagem,  employing 
all  the  crafty  wiles  of  the  Carthagenians.  To  pro- 
duce death  by  the  most  protracted  suffering,  was 
sanctioned  among  them  by  general  immemorial 
usage."  J 

The  Europeans,  instead  of  teaching  mercy  to 
these  men,  encouraged  and  fostered  the  worst  points 
in  their  characters,  and  by  every  temptation  they 
were  led  to  become  even  more  cruel,  as  they  became 
demoralized  and  vicious  by  intercourse  with  the 
more  learned  but  less  principled  "  pale  face."  Massa- 
chusetts first  gave  twelve,  then  forty,  and  finally 
one  hundred  pounds  for  a  scalp.  The  Colonial 
Legislature  of  New  York,  in  1745,  passed  an  act 
for  giving  a  reward  for  scalps  ;  in  1746,  a  governor  of 
the  Colony,  not  only  paid  for  two  scalps  of  French- 
men in  money  and  fine  clothes,  but  thanked  the 
three  Indians  that  brought  them  to  Albany,  and 
promised  "  Always  to  remember  this  act  of  friend- 
ship." American  scalps  were  received  and  paid  for 
in  English  money  by  the  officer  in  command  at 
Maiden,  in  the  war  of  18 12. 


*  Meaning  of  the  word  "Onondaga." 
f  Hon.  George  Geddes. 
JDeWitt  Clinton. 
3* 


CHAPTER  V. 

The  Onondaga  Indians  and  the  French — Cham- 
plain's  Invasion — Jesuit  Missions  among  the 
Onondagas — Wak  between  the  English  and 
the  French — Count  Frontenac's  Invasion  of 
Onondaga — The  Peace  Commissioners  before 
Onondaga  Castle. 

AT  the  commencement  of  French  settlements  in 
Canada,  a  conflict  arose  between  the  French 
and  the  Five  Nations  which  lasted  one  hundred  and 
fifty  years.  This  conflict  was  wantonly  provoked 
by  Champlain,  the  Governor  of  New  France,  who 
espoused  the  cause  of  the  Adirondack  Indians  against 
the  Iroquois  who  had  driven  them  from  their  former 
homes  in  Northern  New  York.  When  Champlain 
built  his  fort  at  Quebec  in  1608,  he  found  the  Adi- 
rondacks  occupying  that  vicinity,  whither  they  had 
fled  for  safety  from  their  fierce  and  powerful  con- 
querors, the  Five  Nations.  Champlain  had  shown 
the  Adirondacks  the  magical  effects  of  his  French 
guns,  and  had  led  them  to  believe  that  with  such 
new  and  destructive  weapons  a  few  Frenchmen  and 
Indian  allies  could  make  an  easy  conquest  of  their 
old  enemies.  Accordingly,  in  1609,  he  joined  the 
Adirondacks  with  his  Frenchmen  to  invade  the 
country  of  the  Iroquois,  and  on  the  lake  which 
bears  his  name,  met  two  hundred  of  these  Indians. 
Both  parties  went  on  shore  for  battle,  and  then,  for 
the  first  time,  the  Iroquois  saw  the  flash  and  heard 
the  report  of  fire  arms.  Defeat  followed,  and  won- 
dering and  dismayed  at  the  murderous  efl^ects  of  the 
strange  weapon,  they  retreated  to  their  fastnesses 
in  the  wilderness. 

This  was  the  first  interview  of  the  Iroquois  with 
white  men,  and  their  first  knowledge  of  them  was 
obtained  by  meeting  them  as  enemies  on  a  field  of 
battle. 

Emboldened  by  his  first  success,  Champlain  with 
his  Frenchmen  and  four  hundred  Huron  allies, 
renewed  his  attack  upon  the  Iroquois  in  1615.  This 
time  he  invaded  the  country  of  the  Onondagas. 
On  the  9th  of  October,  1615,  a  fishing  party  of 
Onondagas  on  their  way  to  Oneida  Lake  were  sur- 
prised and  captured.  These  invaders  had  made 
their  way  up  the  St.  Lawrence  to  the  lower  end  of 
Lake  Ontario,  where,  hiding  their  canoes,  they 
struck  across  the  wilderness  on  foot.  They  took 
captive  "Three  men,  four  women,  three  boys  and  a 
girl."  They  then  marched  forward,  and  says  Cham- 
plain, in  his  account :  "  On  the  10th  of  October,  at 
three  o'clock  in  the  afternoon,  we  arrived  before  the 
fort  of  the  enemy.  When  I  approached  with  my 
little  detachment,  we  showed  them  what  they  had 


18 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


never  before  seen  or  heard.  As  soon  as  they  saw 
us  and  heard  the  balls  whistling  about  their  ears, 
they  retired  quietly  within  their  fort,  carrying  with 
them  their  killed  and  wounded.  We  also  fell  back 
upon  the  main  body,  having  five  or  six  wounded, 
one  of  whom  died."  After  a  six  day  siege,  Cham- 
plain,  in  the  midst  of  his  French  and  Indians,  was 
wounded  in  two  places  by  Onondaga  arrows,  and 
ingloriously  retreated,  being  carried  in  a  "  basket  of 
wicker  work,  so  doubled  up  and  fastened  with  cords 
that  he  was  unable  to  move  "  A  long  and  dreary 
winter  was  passed  by  Champlain  among  the  flurons 
before  he  was  able  to  get  back  to  Quebec. 

The  location  of  the  fort  which  Champlain  attacked 
has  been  a  matter  of  controversy  for  many  years. 
Says  Gen.  John  S.  Clark,  the  antiquarian  : 

"  When  investigators  are  ready  to  abandon  theories 
in  conflict  with  the  record,  rather  than  to  abandon 
facts  conflicting  with  their  theories,  they  will  experi- 
ence no  difficulty  whatever  in  finding  an  Indian 
town  site,  answering  in  every  essential  particular  the 
description  and  illustrations  of  Champlain. 

"  Certain  facts  must  sooner  or  later  be  accepted  as 
conclusive,  in  narrowing  the  limits  in  which  we 
should  seek  for  the  exact  location  :  one  is,  that  the 
east  branch  of  the  Limestone  is  the  dividing  line 
absolutely  between  the  historic  and  pre-historic 
town  sites  of  the  Onondagas:  and  that  Champlain's 
narrative  contains  internal  evidence  in  statements 
of  fact,  unquestionable,  that  the  fort  was  within  a 
few  miles,  at  least,  and  south  of  Oneida  Lake. 
Champlain,  beyond  any  question,  passed  through 
Onondaga  county,  and  attacked  the  stronghold  of 
the  Onondagas,  but  the  location  of  this  stronghold 
is  not  so  easily  found. 

"  I  had  the  honor  of  reading  a  pajier  on  this  sub- 
ject before  the  HulValo  Historical  Society,  and  the 
New  York  Historical  Society,  early  in  the  present 
year,  in  which  I  ventured  to  put  my.self  on  record 
on  this  question  of  route,  and  objective  point,  and 
designaleil  a  well-known  Indian  town  site  in  the 
northeast  corner  of  the  town  of  Fenncr,  in  Madison 
county,  on  the  farm  of  Rufus  H.  Nichols,  on  what 
is  known  as  the  mile-strip,  about  three  miles  cast  of 
Perryville,  as  the  home  of  the  Onondagas  at  that 
period,  and  as  being  the  identical  position  of  the 
fort  attacked  by  Champlain." 

General  Clark  has  examined  this  locality  and 
made  a  drawing  of  it,  corresponding  in  all  essential 
particulars  with  the  drawing  and  description  given 
by  Champlain.  The  situation  is  a  peculiar  one,  the 
fort  in  the  form  of  a  hexagon,  being  in  the  angle  of 
a  stream  which  forms  both  the  inlet  and  outlet  of  a 
pond  in  front  of  the  fort,  and  which,  in  connection 
with  the  streams,  surrounded  it  on  all  sides,  enablintr 
the  Indians  to  put  out  the  fires  by  wliich  Champlain 
tried  to  destroy  their  work. 

These  attacks  of  Champlain  upon  the  Iroquois 
provoked  a  war  which  ended  only    with   the   ex- 


tinction of  French  dominion  in  North  America.  ' 
Truces  were  made,  but  they  were  only  of  short 
duration.  The  Iroquois  armed  with  powder  and 
ball  by  the  Dutch  and  English,  were  seen  on  every 
battle  field  thenceforth,  until  on  the  Plains  of  Abra- 
ham, Onondaga  chieftains  shed  the  blood  of  the 
French  as  freely  as  did  Wolfe,  while  vengeance  was 
glutted.  .Says  Bancroft :  "  Thrice  did  Champlain 
invade  their  country,  until  he  was  driven  with  dis- 
grace from  the  wilderness.  The  Five  Nations  in  J 
return  attempted  the  destruction  of  New  I'rance.  ' 
Though  repulsed,  they  continued  to  defy  the  pro- 
vince and  its  allies,  and  under  the  eyes  of  its 
governor  openly  intercepted  convoys  destined  for 
Quebec.  The  I'rench  authority  was  not  confirmed 
by  the  founding  of  a  feeble  outpost  at  Montreal, 
and  Fort  Richelieu  at  the  mouth  of  the  Sorrel 
River  scarcely  protected  its  immediate  environs. 
The  Iroquois  warrors  scoured  every  wilderness  to 
lay  it  still  more  waste.  Depopulating  the  whole 
country  on  the  Ontario,  they  attained  an  acknowl- 
edged superiority  over  New  France.  The  colony 
was  in  perpetual  danger,  and  Quebec  itself  was 
besieged." 

From  these  straits  the  French  sought  to  relieve 
themselves  by  the  missionaries  of  a  religion  whose 
precepts  they  had  so  wantonly  violated,  and  in  1642, 
"  Father  Jogues,  commissioned  as  an  envoy,  was 
hospitably  received  by  the  Mohawks  and  gained  an 
opportunity  of  offering  the  friendship  of  France  to 
the  Onondagas."  Thus  the  first  Frenchman  came 
with  the  sword,  the  second  with  the  cross. 

The  history  of  the  action  of  the  Jesuit  mission- 
aries among  these  tribes  is  but  a  constant  repetition 
of  cnobling  exami)les  of  self-sacrificing  devotion  to 
the  great  cause  of  converting  the  savages  to  Chris- 
tianity. No  hardship  was  too, great,  no  sufferings 
too  severe,  martyrdom  itself  was  welcomed,  and 
when  one  missionary  was  consumed  by  the  fires  of 
the  savages,  another  stood  ready  to  take  his  place. 
Father  Jogues  was  murdered  by  the  Mohawks  at 
Caughnawaga,*  in  Montgomery  county,  but  he  was 
followed  by  more  than  a  score  of  others  during  the 
next  fifty  years. 

Taking  advantage  of  a  temporary  peace  between 
the  Iroquois  and  the  French,  Father  Simon  Le 
Moyne  appeared  as  a  missionary  to  the  Onondagas 
in  1654.  He  says  in  his  Relation  :  "  On  the  i-th 
day  of  July,  1654,  I  set  out  from  Montreal  and  cm- 
barked  for  a  land  as  yet  but  little  known,  accom- 
panied by  a  young  man  of  piety  and  fortitude  who 
had  long  been  a  resident  of  that  country."  On  the 
5th  of  August  he  had  nearly  finished  his  journey, 

*lncluJcd  now  in  the  corporJtion  of  (he  %'illjgc  of  Fonili. 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


19 


and  says  :  "  We  traveled  four  leagues  before  reach- 
ing the  principal  Onondaga  village.  I  passed  many 
persons  on  the  way  who  kindly  saluted  me,  one 
calling  me  brother,  another  uncle,  and  another 
cousin.  I  never  had  so  many  relations.  At  a 
quarter  of  a  league  from  the  village  I  began  a 
harangue  in  a  solemn  and  commanding  tone,  which 
gained  me  great  credit.  I  named  all  their  chiefs, 
families  and  distinguished  persons.  I  told  them 
that  peace  and  joy  were  my  companions,  and  that  I 
scattered  war  among  the  distant  nations.  Two 
chiefs  addressed  me  as  I  entered  the  village  with  a 
welcome,  the  like  of  which  I  had  never  before 
experienced  among  savages."  At  the  grand  council 
assembled  by  the  chiefs  in  the  cabin  of  Ondessonk, 
he  says,  "  I  opened  the  council  by  a  public  prayer 
on  my  knees,  in  a  loud  voice  in  the  Huron  tongue. 
I  astonished  them  exceedingly  by  mentioning  them 
all  by  nations,  tribes,  families  and  individuals,  which 
amount  to  no  small  number.  This  I  was  enabled 
to  do  from  my  notes,  and  to  them  it  was  as  aston- 
ishing as  it  was  novel."  On  the  i6th,  returning. 
Father  Le  Moyne  discovered  the  salt  springs  and 
manufactured  the  first  Onondaga  salt  ever  made  by 
a  European,  "  as  natural,"  he  says,  "  as  from  the 
sea,  some  of  which  we  shall  carry  to  Quebec." 
This  first  sample  of  salt  was  made  two  hundred  and 
twenty-three  years  ago.  In  the  Relation  of  Father 
Le  Moyne,  seventh  of  August,  1654,  he  says : 
"  I  baptized  a  young  captive  taken  from  the  Neuter 
nation,  fifteen  or  sixteen  years  old,  who  had  been 
instructed  in  the  mysteries  of  our  faith  by  a  Huron 
convert.  This  was  the  first  adult  baptism  made  at 
Onondaga.  The  joy  I  experienced  was  ample  com- 
pensation for  all  past  fatigues." 

Fathers  Joseph  Chaumonot  and  Claude  Dablon 
became  missionaries  to  the  Onondagas  in  1655,  and 
"  were  received  with  the  strongest  proofs  of  friend- 
ship." The  account  of  their  journey  and  experience 
is  given  in  the  Jesuit  Relation  of  Father  Francis 
Le  Mercier,  the  Superior  of  the  Mission  of  Que- 
bec. "On  the  5th  of  November,"  says  the  narra- 
tive, "  as  we  continued  our  route,  a  chieftain  of 
note  called  Gonateragon  met  us  a  league  from  his 
cabin,  welcomed  our  arrival,  and  kindly  invited  us 
to  remain  with  his  people.  He  placed  himself  at 
the  head  of  our  little  company  and  conducted  us  in 
state  to  within  a  quarter  of  a  league  of  Onondaga, 
where  the  "Andeiis"  of  the  country  awaited  us. 
Having  seated  ourselves  beside  them,  they  set  be- 
fore us  their  best  provisions,  especially  pumpkins 
baked  in  the  ashes."  Then  a  speech  of  welcome 
was  made  by  an  aged  chief,  who  deprecated  war, 
and  said  that  even  the  young  men  were  for  peace. 


It  was  only  the  Mohawks,  he  said,  who  wished  to 
darken  the  sun,  rendered  glorious  by  our  approach, 
and  to  fill  the  sky  with  clouds. 

The  mission  founded  this  year  by  Chaumonot 
and  Dablon  was  the  original  mission  of  St.  John  the 
Baptist,  and  according  to  the  topography  of  Gen. 
John  S.  Clark,  was  located  on  "  Indian  Hill,"  two 
miles  south  of  the  village  of  Manlius,  which  was 
then  the  chief  town  of  the  Onondagas.  The  mis- 
sionaries several  times  refer  to  their  "chapel,"  but 
they  probably  mean  by  this  their  place  of  worship, 
fitted  up  in  one  of  the  principal  cabins  of  the  In- 
dians. It  does  not  appear  that  they  had  any  regu- 
lar chapel  at  this  period.  The  first  sacrament  of 
Holy  Mass  was  celebrated  by  Fathers  Chaumonot 
and  Dablon  upon  an  altar  in  an  oratory  made  in  the 
cabin  of  Teotonharason,  one  of  the  women  who 
came  from  Quebec  with  the  missionaries,  on  Sun- 
day, November  14,  1655.  She  was  a  woman  of 
the  Onondagas,  highly  esteemed  for  her  nobleness 
and  wealth.  She  made  a  public  profession  of  re- 
ligion, instructed  all  connected  with  her  household, 
and  eagerly  demanded  baptism  for  herself,  her 
mother  and  daughter.  She  taught  the  prayers  of 
the  Roman  Catholic  Church  to  her  people,  and  was 
a  sort  of  deaconess  of  the  primitive  church  of  the 
Onondagas.  (Relation,  1655.)  On  the  28th  of 
November,  being  the  first  Sunday  in  Advent,  was 
held  the  first  celebration  of  Catechism  in  one  of  the 
principal  cabins,  probably  the  one  above  referred  to. 

It  appears  from  the  Relations  that  the  first  re- 
quest for  a  French  missionary  settlement  on  the 
banks  of  Onondaga  Lake  came  from  Ondessonk, 
the  great  chief  of  the  Onondagas,  who  said  to 
Father  Le  Moyne  :  "  We  request  you  to  select  on 
the  banks  of  our  great  lake  a  convenient  place  for  a 
French  habitation.  Place  yourself  in  the  heart  of 
our  country,  since  you  have  possessed  our  inmost 
aftections.  There  we  can  go  for  instruction,  and 
from  thence  you  can  spread  yourselves  everywhere." 
The  location  of  St.  Mary's  of  Ganentaha  was 
selected  the  year  following  by  Fathers  Chaumonot 
and  Dablon.  Says  the  Relation,  under  date  of  No- 
vember 9,  1655  :  "  This  day  for  the  first  time,  we 
visited  the  salt  spring,  which  is  only  two  leagues 
from  here,  near  the  lake  Ganentaha,  and  the  place 
chosen  for  the  French  settlement,  because  it  is  in 
the  center  of  the  Iroquois  nations,  and  because  we 
can  from  thence  visit  in  canoes  various  localities 
upon  the  rivers  and  lakes,  which  renders  commerce 
free  and  commodious.  Fishing  and  hunting  in- 
crease the  importance  of  this  place,  for  besides  the 
various  kinds  of  fish  that  are  taken  there  at  different 
seasons  of  the  year,  the  eel  is  so  abundant  that  a 


20 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK 


thousnnd  arc  .soniL-imic^  spcarcd  by  a  single  fisher- 
man in  a  nijjht,  and  as  for  the  game  which  docs  not 
fail  through  the  winter,  the  pigeons  gather  in  the 
spring  in  such  numbers  that  they  are  taken  in  nets 
in  great  abundance.  The  fountain  from  which  very 
good  salt  is  made,  intersects  a  meadow  surrounded 
by  a  wood  of  sujxrrior  growth.  From  eighty  to  a 
hundred  paces  from  this  salt  spring  is  another  of 
fresh  water,  and  both  flow  from  the  same  hill " 

The  Mission  of  St.  John  the  Haptist  prospered 
for  several  months ;  proselytes  were  continually 
added  to  the  faith  ;  and  the  anticipations  of  the 
missionaries  were  raised  to  the  highest  pitch.  At 
length  doubts  and  dissentions  crept  into  the  minds 
of  some  of  the  principal  individuals  of  the  canton, 
and  it  was  resolved  that  Dablon  should  proceed  to 
Quebec  for  a  rtcnforcement  to  strengthen  the  hearts 
and  hands  of  the  missionaries.  The  Onondagas 
earnestly  desired  that  the  French  should  come  and 
make  their  settlement  on  the  site  selected  for  St. 
Mary's  of  Ganentaha.  "  Why  do  you  not  come  at 
once,"  said  they.  "  since  you  see  all  our  village  ap- 
prove it .'  We  have  not  ceased  all  this  winter  to  go 
in  crowds  to  the  chapel  to  pray  and  be  instructed. 
You  have  been  cordially  welcomed  in  all  our  cabins 
when  you  have  visited  them  to  teach.  You  cannot 
doubt  our  dispositions  since  we  have  made  you  such 
a  solemn  present,  with  protestations  so  public,  that 
we  are  believers  " 

On  account  of  the  season  of  hunting,  and  the 
preference  of  all  the  youn^  men  for  the  chase,  Dab- 
lon found  it  difficult  to  obtain  guides  to  conduct  him 
back  to  Quebec.  "At  last,"  he  says,  "  we  deter- 
mined upon  saying  nine  masses  to  St.  John  the 
Haptist,  the  patron  of  this  mission,  in  order  to  ob- 
tain light  in  a  business  where  all  was  dark  to  us. 
lichold  how  contrary  to  our  exjicctations,  and  to  all 
human  appearances,  without  knowing  how  it  was 
done  or  by  whom,  immediately  after  the  ninth  mass, 
I  set  out  from  Onondaga,  accompanied  by  two  of 
the  principal  young  men  of  the  village  and  by  several 
others,  whom  doubtless  St.  John  inspired  to  en- 
gage in  this  enterprise  and  journey.  Thus  the 
chief  of  the  escort  was  named  Ste.  Jean  Haptiste. 
he  being  the  first  adult  of  the  Iroquois  baptized  in 
full  health." 

Dablon  and  his  guides  crossed  Oneida  Lake  on 
the  ice  on  the  6th  of  March,  1656,  and  proceeded 
by  the  usual  northern  trail  to  the  mouth  of  Salmon 
River,  whence  he  reached  Montreal  on  the  30th 
Father  Chaumonol  remained  at  Onondaga,  and  the 
following  summer  was  joined  by  Father  Claude 
Dablon,  Father  I.e  Mcrcier,  the  Superior,  Father 
Reni  Mesnard,  Father  Jacques   Fremin,  13rother 


Ambrose  Broar.  and  Brother  Bourgier,  to  found  the 
Mission  of  St.  Mary's  of  Ganentaha.  On  the  7th 
of  May,  1656,  these  missionaries  with  a  force  com- 
posed of  four  nations,  French,  Onondagas,  Senecas, 
and  a  few  Hurons,  embarked  in  shallops  and 
canoes  for  Onondaga.  On  their  departure  from 
port  they  were  cheered  by  the  acclamations  of  a 
great  multitude  who  had  gathered  on  the  shore,  all 
regarding  them  with  compassionate  and  trembling 
hearts  as  so  many  victims  destined  to  the  flames  or 
to  the  fierce  rage  and  torture  of  the  Iroquois.  They 
arrived  at  Three  Rivers  on  the  20th  of  May,  and 
on  the  31st  at  Montreal  ;  on  the  8th  of  June,  hav- 
ing abandoned  their  shallops  on  account  of  the 
rapids  of  La  Chine,  they  embarked  in  twenty 
canoes  ;  on  their  flag  of  beautiful  white  cloth  was 
painted  in  large  letters  the  name  "  Jhsi's,"  which  a 
band  of  Mohawks  on  the  rapids  recognized  and 
accosted  the  voyagers.  The  Onondagas  received  the 
Mohawks  with  curses,  reproached  them  with  treason 
and  robbery,  seized  their  canoes  and  arms  and 
whatever  was  best  of  their  equipments,  in  retalia- 
tion for  having  been  robbed  by  the  same  party  a 
few  days  before.  Without  other  incident  of  im- 
portance, they  pursued  their  journey,  and  on  the 
I  ith  of  July,  at  3  o'clock,  arrived  on  the  shore  of 
Lake  Ononilaga,  at  the  spot  which  had  been  selected 
for  their  mission  house  by  Fathers  Chaumonot  and 
Dablon.  Here  many  of  the  old  men  and  chiefs  of 
the  Onondagas  awaited  them.  The  Te  Deum  was 
chanted  and  holy  mass  celebrated  in  gratitude  for 
their  friendly  reception.  On  the  17th  they  com- 
menced the  erection  of  their  dwellings  and  a  fort 
for  their  soldiers. 

The  location  of  this  fort  and  mission  house  was 
on  the  east  shore  of  Onondaga  Lake,  on  lot  106  in 
the  town  of  Salina,  where  the  embankment  and 
outlines  of  the  fort  were  plainly  to  be  seen  by  the 
early  settlers.  The  well  in  that  vicinity  out  of 
which  they  drew  their  water  still  bears  the  name  of 
the  "  Jesuits's  Well." 

For  a  while  the  mission  was  quite  prosperous ; 
other  missions  branched  out  from  it  among  the 
Cayugas  and  Senecas  ;  the  second  year  the  increas- 
ing interest  required  the  enlargement  of  the  chapel  ; 
the  missionaries  entertained  hopes  of  the  sjieedy 
conversion  of  multitudes  of  the  Indians.  Hut  while 
they  were  indulging  these  fond  anticipations,  the 
renewal  of  border  wars  e.xcited  the  slumbering  ven 
geance  of  the  Moliawks,  who  induced  the  Ononda- 
gas to  enter  into  a  conspiracy  for  the  destruction  of 
the  French  mission.  The  plot  was  revealed  by  a 
friendly  Indian,  and  the  French  escaped  by  the  fol- 
lowing ingenious  method : 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


21 


Being  forewarned  of  the  intended  massacre,  they 
had  prepared  to  escape  in  the  night,  if  they  could 
avoid  exciting  the  suspicions  of  the  Indians,  by 
means  of  several  light  boats  which  they  had  secretly 
constructed  in  the  storehouse  of  the  mission.  The 
opportunity  was  furnished  them  by  the  ingenuity  of 
a  young  man,  very  much  a  favorite  with  the  head 
chief,  who  feigned  to  have  a  dream  that  the  chief 
must  provide  a  general  feast,  after  the  custom  of  the 
Indian  nation.  The  rule  of  politeness  required  that 
they  should  eat  all  that  was  set  before  them,  and  the 
consequence  was  that  they  often  became  gorged  and 
stupefied.  So  it  was  on  this  occasion.  The  feast 
was  prepared  ;  all  had  eaten  to  surfeiting  ;  the  young 
man  played  on  his  guitar  to  soothe  them  into  the 
profound  slumber  that  was  soon  to  follow.  In  a  lit- 
tle while  they  were  all  asleep,  and  before  they  awoke 
the  Frenchmen  had  shipped  their  boats  and  were 
far  away  beyond  their  reach.  In  the  morning  they 
supposed  the  French  had  been  sleeping  as  pro- 
foundly as  themselves,  and  it  was  not  until  they  had 
examined  the  premises  that  they  discovered  that 
their  intended  victims  had  fled.  If  the  missionaries 
had  been  alone  in  the  work  in  which  they  were  en- 
gaged, they  would  at  all  times  have  been  safe  in  the 
hands  of  the  savages,  but  the  rival  governments  of 
France  and  England  continually  thwarted  their  en- 
deavors and  rendered  the  lives  of  all  at  times  inse- 
cure. 

When  the  Mohawk  conspiracy  had  died  away  and 
the  Onondagas  becoming  sorry  for  having  given 
the  French  reason  to  doubt  their  sincerity,  and  feel- 
ing the  loss  they  had  sustained  in  driving  them 
away,  the  principal  chief  sent  an  invitation  to  them 
again  to  establish  themselves  among  them.  In 
1665,  a  number  of  French  families  returned,  under 
the  guidance  of  the  missionaries,  and  settled  near 
the  Indian  fort  and  village  which  stood  in  the  vicin- 
ity of  the  present  village  of  Jamesville.  The  mission 
here  established  was  that  of  Ste.  Jean  Baptiste. 
The  chapel  was  built  in  1666  by  the  famous  chief, 
Gar-a-kon-tie,  who  was  a  converted  and  truly  Chris- 
tian Indian.  Father  Le  Mercier,  in  Relation  1667, 
says  of  him  :  "  As  he,  [Father  Julian  Gamier,]  had 
declared  to  them  [the  Onondagas,]  that  he  could 
not  remain  alone  and  without  a  chapel,  Gar-a-kon-tie, 
that  famous  captain  of  whom  we  have  spoken  before 
in  preceding  relations,  resolved  to  gratify  him  to  the 
utmost  of  his  wishes.  In  fact,  in  a  few  days  he 
built  a  chapel,  and  immediately  after  undertook  a 
voyage  to  Quebec  to  visit  the  Governor  of  Canada, 
who  had  long  desired  to  see  this  great  and  good 
man,  so  obliging  towards  the  French.  One  princi- 
pal object  of  his  visit  was  to  take  away  with  him 


some  of  the  Fathers,  whom  he  wished  to  conduct 
into  his  own  country."* 

In  1669  the  French  and  the  Iroquois  were  again 
at  war.  "  The  harvests  of  New  France  could  not 
be  gathered  in  safety,  the  convents  were  insecure, 
and  many  of  the  inhabitants  prepared  to  return  to 
France.  In  moments  of  gloom  it  seemed  as  if  all 
must  be  abandoned.  True,  religious  zeal  was  still 
active.  Le  Moyne,  who  had  been  driven  from 
among  the  Mohawks,  once  more  appeared  and  was 
received  with  affection  by  the  Onondagas.  Peace 
ensued.  England  came  into  possession  of  the  New 
Netherlands.  In  1684,  the  Five  Nations  met  the 
governors  of  New  York  and  Virginia  at  Albany, 
and  the  sachems  returned  to  nail  the  arms  of  the 
Duke  of  York  over  their  castle,  a  protection  as  they 
thought  against  the  French,  an  acknowledgment,  as 
the  English  deemed,  of  British  sovereignty."  The 
Governor  of  Canada,  meantime,  with  six  hundred 
French  soldiers,  four  hundred  Indian  allies,  four 
hundred  canoes,  and  three  hundred  men  for  a  gar- 
rison, started  for  Onondaga.  But  the  army  suffered 
from  sickness,  and  after  arriving  on  the  soil  of  the 
Onondagas,  he  was  constrained  to  sue  for  peace. 
The  English  desired  the  Five  Nations  to  take  ad- 
vantage of  this  situation  and  exterminate  the  French. 
But  such  was  not  their  policy  ;  they  desired  to  play 
one  party  oft"  against  the  other,  while  they  them- 
selves held  the  balance  of  power.  An  Onondaga 
chief  proudly  said  to  the  Convoy  of  New  York : 
"  Yonnondio  (the  French  Governor)  has  for  ten 
years  been  our  father  ;  Corlear  (the  English  Gover- 
nor) has  long  been  our  brother,  but  it  is  because  we 
have  willed  it  so  ;  neither  the  one  nor  the  other  is 
our  master.  He  who  made  the  world  gave  us  the 
land  on  which  we  dwell  ;  we  are  free  ;  you  call  us 
subjects  ;  we  say  we  are  brethren  ;  we  must  take 
care  of  ourselves.  I  will  go  to  my  father,  for  he  has 
come  to  my  gate  and  desires  to  speak  words  of 
reason.  We  will  embrace  peace,  instead  of  war  ; 
the  ax  shall  be  thrown  into  a  deep  water."  To  De 
la  Barre,  the  French  commander,  the  chief  said : 
"  It  is  well  for  you  that  you  have  left  under  ground 
the  hatchet  which  has  so  often  been  dyed  with  the 
blood  of  the  French  ;  our  children  and  old  men 
had  carried  their  bows  and  arrows  into  the  heart  of 
your  camp,  if  our  braves  had  not  kept  them  back ; 
our  old  men  are  not  afraid  of  war  ;  we  will  guide 
the  English  to  our  lakes  ;  we  are  born  free  ;  we 
depend  neither  on  Yonnondio  nor  Corlear."  Dis- 
mayed, the  proud  Governor  of  Canada  accepted  a 
disgraceful  peace,  leaving  his  Indian  allies  to  the 
tender  mercies  of  the  Iroquois. 

*  Clark's   Onondaga,  p.  190. 


22 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


After  the  establishmciii  oi  I'ort  Niagara  by  the 
French,  Louis  XI\'  wrote  to  the  Governor  of  New 
France  to  capture  as  many  of  the  able  bodied 
Iroquois  as  he  could  and  send  them  to  France  to 
work  in  the  galleys  as  slaves,  saying,  "  Uo  what 
you  can  to  capture  a  large  number  of  them  as  pris- 
oners of  war,  and  ship  them  to  France."  By  open 
hostilities  no  captures  could  be  made,  and  Lamber- 
ville,  the  missionary  among  the  Onondagas,  was 
unconsciously  employed  to  decoy  them  into  the  fort 
on  Ontario.  Accordingly,  being  invited  to  nego- 
tiate a  treaty,  they  assembled  without  distrust,  and 
were  seized,  put  in  irons,  hurried  to  Quebec  and 
thence  to  France,  where  the  warrior  hunters  of  the 
Five  Nations  who  used  to  roam  from  Hudson's  Hay 
to  Carolina,  were  chained  to  the  oar  in  the  galleys 
of  Marseilles."  This  was  in  1687.  What  did  the 
outraged  Iroquois  do  with  this  missionary,  the  un- 
witting tool  of  tyrants  .'  Bancroft  says  :  "  Mean- 
while the  old  men  of  the  Onondagas  summoned 
Lamberville  to  their  presence.  '  W'e  have  much 
reason,'  said  an  aged  chief,  '  to  treat  thee  as  an  ene 
my,  but  we  know  thee  too  well :  thou  hast  betrayed 
us,  but  tre.ison  was  not  in  thine  heart  ;  fly,  there- 
fore, for  when  our  young  braves  shall  have  sung 
their  war  song,  they  will  listen  to  no  voice  but  the 
swelling  voice  of  their  anger.'  "  Trusty  guides  con- 
ducted the  missionary  through  by-paths  into  a  place 
of  security.  This  noble  forbearance  was  due  to  the 
counsel  of  Gar-a  kon-tie,  the  same  chief  who  built 
the  second  Onondaga  chaj^el  for  the  mission  of  St. 
John  the  Baptist.  "  Generous  barbarian  !  e.xclaims 
Bancroft ;  your  honor  shall  endure,  if  words  of  mine 
can  preserve  the  memory  of  your  deeds."  The 
Onondaga  Chief  Haas-kou-au.n,  at  once  appeared 
at  Montreal  at  the  head  of  twelve  hundred  warriors, 
demanding  as  a  .satisfaction  the  restoration  of  the 
chiefs  and  spoils  and  the  abandonment  of  the  fort 
at  Niagara.  Four  days  were  given  the  French  to 
decide.  Said  the  haughty  chief,  "  Our  warriors  pro- 
pose to  come  and  burn  your  forts,  your  houses, 
your  granges,  and  your  corn,  to  weaken  you  by 
famine,  and  then  to  overwhelm  you."  The  terms 
were  accepted  by  the  French,  the  restoration  of 
the  imprisoned  chiefs  conceded,  and  the  whole 
country  south  of  the  lakes  rescued  from  the  domin- 
ion of  Canada.  In  the  course  of  events  New  York 
owes  its  present  northern  boundary  to  this  exhibi- 
tion of  the  power  and  valor  of  the  Five  Nations.* 
All  but  a  little  corner  u(  the  County  of  Onondaga 
is  drained  into  the  St.  Lawrence,  and  but  for  these 
Indians  must  have  formed  a  part  of  Canada.f 

•  1  Bancfut't,  p. 431. 

f  Hon.  Gcorfe  GcJJci  Report,  1859. 


In  1694,  the  great  chief,  De-kan-is-so-ra,  visited 
Montreal  to  make  terms  of  peace  with  the  French. 
The  Count  de  Frontenac,  then  Governor,  refused  to 
treat  with  the  Five  Nations,  e.xccpt  on  conditions 
that  they  would  exclude  the  Knglish  entirely  from 
trading  in  their  territory.  This  the  Onondagas  re- 
fused to  consent  to,  whereupon  Frontenac  resolved 
to  put  the  whole  power  of  the  French  in  requisition 
and  by  one  decisive  blow  bring  them  to  terms. 
In  1696,  he  mustered  the  whole  force  that  France 
could  furnish  and  the  province  could  raise,  together 
with  such  Indian  allies  as  he  could  enlist,  and  after 
two  months  spent  in  the  trip,  arrived  with  his  flotilla 
on  Onondaga  Lake,  the  second  of  August.  The 
paraphernalia  of  the  army  made  a  grand  display. 
"  Banners  were  there,"  says  Hoffman,  "which  had 
been  unfurled  at  Steenkerk  and  Landen.and  rustled 
above  the  troops  that  Lu.xemburg's  trumpets  had 
guided  to  glory  when  Prince  VValdeck's  legions  were 
borne  down  beneath  his  furious  charge.  Nor  was  the 
enemy  that  this  gallant  host  was  seeking,  unworthy 
those  whose  swords  had  been  tried  in  some  of  the 
hardest  fought  fields  of  Europe.  They  had  bearded 
a  European  army  under  the  walls  of  Quebec,  shut 
up  another  for  weeks  within  the  defences  of  Mon- 
treal, with  the  same  courage  which  half  a  century 
after  vanquished  the  battalions  of  Dieskau  on  the 
shores  of  Lake  George. " 

The  French,  with  their  allies,  passed  up  Onon- 
daga Lake  in  two  divisions,  skirting  both  shores,  and 
finally  landing  at  the  cast  end,  sword  in  hand.  On 
the  third  of  August,  they  constructed  a  fort  and  left 
a  garrison  of  [40  men  to  guard  their  batteaux  and 
baggage.  This  fort  was  probably  at  the  place  now 
called  Green  Point,  or  at  the  site  of  St.  Mary's  of 
Ganentaha.  The  cannon  and  artillery  equipments 
were  hauled  across  the  marshes,  and  they  encamped 
at  the  Salt  Springs.  Their  movements  had  been 
discovered  by  scouts  and  were  fully  known  at  the 
Onondaga  villages.  No  assistance  could  be  obtained 
from  the  English,  and  resistance  to  such  a  vast  army 
was  idle.  The  Onondagas,  therefore,  resolved  to 
bend  before  the  storm  they  could  not  face.  On  the 
night  of  the  3d  of  August,  1696,  the  French  army 
saw  the  light  of  immense  fires  in  the  south.  The 
Indians,  adopting  the  tactics  of  Moscow,  were  des- 
troying their  own  property,  preferring  this  mode  of 
defence  to  direct  resistance.  When  the  French  ar- 
rived on  the  ground,  Frontenac  says  they  found 
"  the  cabins  of  the  Indians  and  the  triple  palisades 
which  circled  the  fort  entirely  burnt."  It  has  since 
been  learned  that  it  was  in  a  sufficiently  strong  state 
of  defence.  It  was  an  oblong  flanked  by  four  regu- 
lar  bastions.      The    two   rows   of    pickets    which 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


23 


touched  each  other  were  of  the  thickness  of  an  ordi- 
nary mast,  and  at  six  feet  distance  outside  stood  an- 
other palisade  of  much  smaller  dimensions,  but  from 
forty  to  fifty  feet  high.  The  corn  of  the  Ononda- 
gas,  in  their  fields,  stretching  "  from  a  league  and  a 
half  to  two  leagues  from  the  fort,"  was  completely 
cut  up  by  the  soldiers.  "  Not  a  single  head  re- 
mained," and  "  the  destruction  was  complete." 

The  Onondagas,  of  course,  could  not  brook  this 
wanton  destruction  long.  In  accordance  with  their 
custom  they  must  give  the  enemy  due  notice  that 
vengeance  would  not  be  delayed.  A  brave  old  war- 
rior volunteered  for  this  honorable  duty,  and  died 
without  a  groan  amidst  the  tortures  of  the  savage 
allies  of  the  French.  "  When  a  savage,  weary  of 
his  harangues,  gave  him  some  cuts  of  a  knife,"  "  I 
thank  thee,"  he  cried,  "  But  thou  oughtest  to  com- 
plete my  death  by  fire.  Learn,  French  dogs  and 
ye  savages,  their  allies,  that  ye  are  dogs  of"dogs  ; 
remember  what  ye  ought  to  do  when  ye  will  be  in 
the  same  position  that  I  am."  "  It  was,"  says  Charle- 
voix, "  a  strange  and  curious  spectacle,  to  see  many 
hundred  men  surrounding  a  decrepit  old  warrior, 
striving  in  vain,  by  tortures,  to  draw  a  groan  from 
him." 

The  barren  victory  of  Frontenac  resulted  in  great 
injury  to  the  French,  for  by  taking  away  the  militia 
of  Canada,  the  fields  were  left  uncultivated,  and  a 
famine  ensued  that  pinched  quite  as  hard  as  the  lack 
of  provisions  in  Onondaga. 


CHAPTER  VL 

The  Iroquois  and  the  English  —  Policv  of 
THE  English  Towards  the  Five  Nations 
— The  Onondagas  in  the  French  War — 
— Their  Status  in  the  Revolution  and  the 
War  of  181 2 — English  and  German  Missions 
among  the  Onondagas  —  Later  Missions — 
Schools — Treaties. 

THE  treaty  of  Ryswick,  which  made  peace  be- 
tween the  English  and  the  French,  was  signed 
September  10,  1697.  Soon  after  this,  French  com- 
missioners appeared  before  the  Onondaga  Castle. 
Peace  was  made,  to  the  great  satisfaction  of  the 
French.  "  Nothing  could  be  more  terrible  than 
this  last  war  ;  the  French  ate  their  bread  in  con- 
tinual fear.  No  man  was  sure,  when  out  of  his 
house,  of  ever  returning  to  it  again.  All  business 
and  trade  were  often  suspended,  while  fear,  despair 
and  misery  blanched  the  countenances  of  the 
wretched   inhabitants.*     The  Commissioners  took 

*  Clark's  Onondaga,  p.  283. 


with  them  to  Montreal  several  of  the  Onondaga 
chiefs.  They  were  received  with  every  mark  of  re- 
spect, and  were  treated  with  that  consideration 
which  brave  men  always  command. 

Before  the  peace  oi  Ryswick,  in  1697,  the  In- 
dians of  the  Five  Nations  had  become  the  allies  of 
the  English.  In  1689,  they  had  met  the  represen- 
tatives of  the  English  colonies,  the  Governors  of 
New  York  and  Virginia,  in  council  at  Albany,  and 
had  formally  pledged  to  them  peace  and  alliance. 
Although  the  French,  from  this  time  forward,  made 
the  most  strenuous  efibrts,  through  diplomacy  and 
religion,  to  gain  the  Five  Nations  over  to  their  in- 
terest, and  failing  in  that,  had  employed  the  best 
military  resources  of  New  France  for  their  subjuga- 
tion, yet  they  steadily  adhered  to  their  friendship 
for  the  English,  who  gradually  gained  the  ascend- 
ancy over  them  and  in  due  time  became  their  mas- 
ters. 

The  earliest  and  strongest  influence  of  the  Eng- 
lish was  exerted  over  the  Mohawks,  who  lived  in 
immediate  proximity  to  their  settlements  on  the 
Hudson  ;  hence  the  Mohawks  were  most  hostile  to 
the  French  and  were  often  in  open  war  upon  their 
frontiers  while  the  more  western  tribes  were  quietly 
listening  to  the  Jesuit  Fathers  within  the  sound  of 
Niagara,  in  the  forests  of  Cayuga  and  the  villages 
of  Onondaga.     Many  a  conflict  between  the  Mo- 
hawks and  the  other  tribes  of  the  Five  Nations 
originated    in    the   partiality  of  the  latter  for  the 
French.     At  length  the  English,  penetrating  farther 
into  the  country,  extending  trade  and  commerce  to 
the  diff"erent  tribes,  and  assisting  them  against  their 
common  enemies,  gradually  gained  an  ascendancy 
over  them,  and  an  alliance  was  formed  with  the 
United  Five  Nations  which  remained  an  indissolu- 
ble bond  of  union  through  all  the  conflicts  and  wars 
which  followed,  not  only  till  the  downfall  of  French 
power  in  Canada,  but  till  England  herself  surren- 
dered her  possessions  in  America  to  her  colonies. 
The  English  gained  their  ascendancy  over  the  Iro- 
quois, not  by  levying  war,  but  by  commerce  and 
assistance,  in  the  first  place,  and  then  by  negotia- 
tion and  the  arts  of  peace.     From  this  time  the 
Five  Nations  recognized  themselves  as  subjects  of 
Great  Britain  and  were  at  war  or  peace,  as  suited  the 
policy  of  the  governing  nation. 

Among  the  earliest  English  travelers  in  the  Iro- 
quois country  was  Wentworth  Greenhalgh,  who 
commenced  a  journey  westward  from  Albany  on  the 
28th  of  May,  1677.*  He  visited  the  Mohawks, 
Oneidas,  Onondagas,  Cayugas  and  Senecas,  and 
describes  minutely  in  his  journal  the  situation  and 

*  Chambers'  Political  Annals  of  the  United  Colonies,  London,  1780 


24 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


strength  of  each  nation.  The  Onondagas  he  found 
"  situated  on  a  hill  that  is  very  large,  the  bank  on 
each  side  extending  itself  at  least  two  miles,  all 
cleared  land  whereon  the  corn  is  planted."  This 
traveler  furnishes  the  following  census  of  the  "  fight- 
ing men"  of  the  respective  nations :  Mohawks  300  ; 
Oneidas,  200  •{  Onondagas,  350:  Cayugas,  300; 
Senccas,  i.oco;  total,  2,150. 

In  the  manuscripts  of  Sir  William  Johnson  there 
is  a  census  of  the  northern  and  western  Indians 
from  the  Pludson  to  the  Mississippi,  taken  in  1763, 
in  which  the  Five  Nations  appear  numerically  as 
follows:  Mohawks,  160  ;  Oneidas,  250;  Onondagas, 
150;  Cayugas,  200:  Senccas,  1,050;  total,  1,610 
warriors. 

In  1700,  Robert  Livingston,  Secretary  of  Indian 
affairs,  visited  Onondaga,  and  reported  to  the  Earl 
of  Belmont  upon  the  proper  policy  for  the  English 
to  adopt  in  regard  to  the  Five  Nations.  He  ad- 
vised that  missionaries  should  be  sent  among  them, 
and  that  forts  should  be  constructed  and  garrisoned 
for  their  protection  against  the  French.  He  pro- 
posed to  locate  a  fort  at  the  confluence  of  the  Oneida 
and  Seneca  Rivers.  In  June  of  that  year,  Dckan- 
nissora,  at  the  head  of  an  embassy,  visited  Albany 
complaining  that  the  French  "  will  not  take  the 
hatchet  from  their  hands"  unless  the  Five  Nations 
submit  to  them.  And  he  said,  "  All  of  us  here  are 
resolved  to  have  a  Protestant  minister  at  Onondaga, 
the  centre  of  the  Five  Nations,  as  soon  as  one  can 
be  sent  to  us."  The  Governor  promised  the  mis- 
sionary, and  that  the  bible  should  be  translated  for 
their  use.  and  proposed  that  they  should  send  two 
or  three  of  their  sons  to  be  educated  at  the  expense 
of  the  King.  The  Indians  replied  that  they  loved 
the  King  and  were  determined  to  continue  firm  to 
him  and  his  religion,  adding  that  they  had  refused 
to  receive  the  Jesuit  priests.  "As  to  the  offer  to 
educate  the  boys,"  said  the  chief,  "that  is  a  sub- 
ject not  under  our  control  ;  it  belongs  to  the  women 
entirely." 

At  this  council  the  Earl  of  Helmont  promised 
the  Onondagas  to  build  a  fort  in  their  country. 
Col.  Romer  was  selected  as  the  engineer  to  explore 
the  country  and  fi.x  upon  a  site  for  the  fort.  The 
Indians  agreed  to  furnish  two  hundred  men  to  work 
upon  it,  and  to  furnish  corn,  venison,  and  other  pro- 
visions for  the  workmen.  Four  young  Onondagas 
were  selected  to  accompany  Colonel  Romer  in  his 
exploring  expedition.  Colonel  Romer  explored  the 
Onondaga  country,  and  passed  down  till  he  came  to 
the  Oneida  River,  but  found  no  suitable  place  to 
locate  a  fort.  They  finally  decided  upon  the  ledge 
called  Kagnewagcage,  near  the  mouth  of  the  Oswe- 


go River,  as  the  most  suitable  site.  The  King  of 
England,  in  1701,  had  given  five  hundred  pounds 
towards  erecting  a  fort  in  the  country  of  the  Onon- 
dagas. The  fort  was  not  built  till  1727.  A  trading 
house,  however,  was  erected  at  Oswego  in  1722, 
under  the  administration  of  Governor  William  Bur 
net.  The  design  of  the  occupancy  of  this  position 
was  to  frustrate  the  purpose  of  the  French  to  con- 
fine the  English  colonies  to  narrow  limits  along  the 
sea  coast  by  a  chain  of  forts  extending  from  Canada 
to  Louisiana  ;  and  it  would  also  give  the  English 
command  of  Lake  Ontario  and  the  route  of  the 
French  by  the  Oswego  River  into  the  heart  of  the 
Ifoquois  country.  No  establishment  could  be  of 
greater  importance  to  the  interest  of  the  English. 
When,  therefore,  the  trading  house  was  erected  at 
Oswego  it  highly  exasperated  the  Canadian  authori- 
ties, and  they  immediately  inaugurated  a  counter 
moveifient  in  erecting  a  trading  house  at  Niagara. 
The  Baron  De  Longueil  visited  the  canton  of  the 
Onondagas  in  person  to  secure  the  consent  of  the 
chiefs,  and  by  misrepresentation  partially  succeeded. 
But  the  other  Iroquois  nations  declared  the  action 
of  the  Onondagas  void,  as  the  country  in  which  the 
French  were  at  work  belonged  solely  to  the  Senc- 
cas. The  French,  however,  persisted,  and  through 
the  influence  of  the  Jesuit,  Joucairc,  who  succeeded 
in  keeping  the  Indians  quiet,  completed  their  work 
at  Niagara.  Governor  Burnet,  unable  to  accom- 
plish anything  else,  erected  the  fort  at  Oswego  in 
1727.  He  built  it  almost  wholly  at  his  own  private 
expense.  The  Governor  of  Canada  was  so  incensed 
that  he  sent  a  written  order  to  the  officer  in  com- 
mand to  evacuate  the  fort  at  once.  The  English 
officer  did  not,  however,  comply. 

In  the  war  which  followed  between  the  French 
and  the  English,  the  defence  of  the  fort  at  Oswego 
was  entrusted  to  the  Onondagas.  When  Sir  Wil- 
liam Johnson  called  for  them  they  were  ready  and 
assisted  in  winning  the  glory  he  acquired.  At  Ni- 
agara. Montreal  and  Quebec,  they  participated  in 
the  great  engagements  which  decided  the  question 
of  empire  between  the  French  and  English  ;  and 
on  the  2 1  St  of  July,  1761,  after  the  war  had  closed 
and  all  the  French  possessions  east  of  the  Missis- 
sippi had  fallen  into  the  hands  of  the  English,  up- 
wards of  forty  of  the  sachems  and  warriors  of  the 
Onondaga  nation  met  Sir  William  Johnson  at  Os- 
wego, to  receive  the  medals  sent  to  all  their  chiefs, 
by  General  Amherst.  The  chiefs,  in  a  formal  ad- 
dress, took  that  occasion  to  remonstrate  against  the 
ill  treatment  many  of  their  people  had  received 
from  the  traders  and  soldiers  at  the  posts  during  the 
war.  and  the  cxhorbitant  prices  of  goods  charged 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


25 


by  the  traders.  Sir  William  promised  to  reform 
abuses  and  furnish  them  plenty  of  powder  and  ball, 
which  proved  very  agreeable  to  the  chiefs. 

In  the  war  of  the  Revolution  these  Indians  steadi- 
ly adhered  to  the  friendship  which  had  been  so  long 
cemented  between  them  and  the  English,  and  were 
the  faithful  allies  of  Great  Britain  throughout  that 
memorable  struggle.  Mr.  Clinton  says  that  in  the 
war  of  the  Revolution  the  Five  Nations  contributed 
to  the  aid  of  the  British  1,580  men.  "They  hung 
like  the  scythe  of  death  in  the  rear  of  our  settle- 
ments, and  their  deeds  are  inscribed  with  the  scalp- 
ing knife  and  the  tomahawk,  in  characters  of  blood, 
on  the  fields  of  Wyoming  and  Cherry  Valley,  and 
on  the  banks  of  the  Mohawk."* 

The  chastisement  we  inflicted  upon  the  Five 
Nations  was  as  terrible  as  their  own  cruelties  had 
invoked.  On  the  21st  of  April,  1779,  Colonel  Van 
Schaick  surprised  the  Onondagas  and  destroyed 
their  village,  provisions  and  munitions  of  war,  kill- 
ing twelve  and  taking  thirty  or  forty  prisoners.  The 
destruction  of  their  property  was  complete.  The 
same  year  the  campaigns  of  Sullivan  carried  war 
and  famine  to  the  Cayugas  and  Senecas,  effectually 
breaking  the  power  of  the  Iroquois.  The  Mohawks 
fled  to  Canada  with  Sir  William  Johnson. 

The  treaty  of  peace  with  England  gave  us  the 
chain  of  the  great  lakes  as  our  northern  boundary. 
No  stipulation  whatever  was  made  respecting  these 
tribes.  They  consequently  found  themselves  in  the 
condition  of  a  conquered  people  in  the  hands  of 
their  enemies  who  had  become  highly  exasperated 
at  their  dreadful  cruelties.  The  Legislature  of  New 
York  evinced  a  disposition  to  e.xpel  them  all  from 
their  territory,  but  wiser  and  more  humane  counsels 
prevailed.  Through  the  influence  of  Generals 
Washington  and  SchuyJer  they  were  saved  from 
total  ruin.  The  treaty  made  at  Fort  Stanwix  in 
1784,  by  commissioners  of  the  government  and  the 
Indians,  secured  sufficient  reservations  of  land  to 
all  the  tribes,  except  the  Mohawks  who  had  gone  to 
Canada.  But  this  treaty  appeared  hard  to  the 
Indians,  who  had  gone  into  the  war  at  the  command 
of  a  government  they  felt  bound  to  obey,  and  that 
had  so  shamefully  neglected  them  in  the  final  set- 
tlement. After  this  their  prowess  was  gone,  and 
their  martial  spirit  entirely  broken.  Some  of  them 
assisted  the  Western  Indians  in  the  wars  under 
Harmar,  St.  Clair  and  Wayne,  being  led  by  Brant, 
the  great  captain  of  the  Five  Nations  ;  and  when 
the  gallant  Wayne  turned  the  victory  in  favor  of 
the  Americans,  Ohekungh  and  Oundiaga,  chiefs  of 


the  Onondagas,  were  there  ;  the  latter  left  his  bones 
to  bleach  on  the  plains  of  the  Miamis. 

After  this  noted  victory,  the  Onondagas  clearly 
saw  the  folly  of  cherishing  any  longer  a  hostile  dis- 
position towards  their  immediate  neighbors.  They 
settled  down  in  quiet,  determined  to  submit  with 
fortitude  to  their  fate. 

During  the  war  of  18 12,  when  our  Niagara  fron- 
tier had  become  a  scene  in  which  the  tomahawk 
and  scalping  knife  were  playing  their  part,  General 
Peter  D.  Porter  called  on  the  remnant  of  this  people 
for  a  force  that  might  be  successfully  opposed  to  the 
Canadian  Indians.  A  council  was  held  to  which  all 
the  tribes  were  invited,  and  all  came  except  the 
Mohawks.  It  was  resolved  to  aid  the  United  States 
with  all  their  force.  By  the  ancient  usage  of  the 
Five  Nations,  the  Mohawks  were  to  furnish  the 
Commander-in-Chief,  but,  as  they  had  left  the  con- 
federacy, it  was  necessary  to  depart  from  the  usage 
and  elect  one  in  general  council.  Debate  ran  high, 
until  the  celebrated  Sa-goy-a-\vat-ha  (Red  Jacket) 
settled  the  matter  by  proposing  Hog-a-hoa-qua 
(La  Fort,)  an  Onondaga  chieftain.  He  accepted 
the  post,  and  died  at  Chippewa,  having  received  his 
death  wound  while  bravely  leading  his  people.  His 
dying  words  were  expressive  of  his  gratification  at 
having  been  placed  at  the  head  of  his  nation  and 
having  done  his  duty  there.  The  braves  of  the 
of  the  Onondagas  gathered  around  the  prostrate 
hero,  and  exclaimed  in  their  own  language,  "Alas, 
the  great  chief!  the  brave  !  the  brave  !"* 

It  remains  now  to  consider  the  English  and  other 
later  missions  among  these  people. 

The  Jesuit  missions  began  sensibly  to  decline 
after  the  year  1700.  About  this  time  the  English 
began  to  interest  themselves  in  planting  Protestant 
Christianity  among  the  Five  Nations.  The  Earl  of 
Belmont,  then  Governor  of  New  York,  proposed  a 
fort  and  a  chapel  at  Onondaga,  and  King  William 
sent  over  a  set  of  plate  for  communion  service  and 
furniture  for  the  proposed  chapel.  But  this  plan 
was  interrupted  by  the  death  of  the  King  in  1702, 
and  was  renewed  by  Queen  Anne,  who  became  a 
zealous  patron  of  missions  among  the  Five  Nations. 
This  good  queen  ordered  the  erection  of  a  chapel 
among  the  Mohawks  and  contemplated  a  similar 
work  among  all  the  Five  Nations.  The  Mohawk 
chapel  was  built  of  stone,  and  was  erected  at  Fort 
Hunter  in  17 10.  The  queen  presented  the  chapel 
with  a  solid  silver  communion  set, bearing  the  follow- 
ing inscription  :  "The  gift  of  Her  Majesty,  Anne,  by 
the  Grace  of  God,  of  Great  Britain,  France  and  Ire- 


CUrk's  Onondaga. 
4* 


*  Webster  received  his  last  words  while  acting  as  aid  to  Gen.  Brown, 

to  carry  orders  to  the  Indians,  he  understanding  their  language. 


26 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


land,  QuEHN,  to  her  Indian  Chapel  of  the  Mohawks." 
A  similar  service  was  engraved  for  the  Onondagas, 
but,  from  some  cause,  it  seems  never  to  have  reached 
its  destination.  On  the  plate  presented  to  the  Mo- 
hawks was  the  date  1712.  Portions  of  the  same 
scr\'ice  arc  still  in  use  at  the  Mohawk  mission  in 
Canada. 

Among  the  Onondagas,  missions  were  established 
by  the  Moravians  or  United  Brethren,  in  1750. 
Heckwalder,  the  Indian  historian,  says  :  "  The  most 
remarkable  occurrence  of  1750  was  the  journey  of 
Bishop  CammcrhofT  and  Brother  David  Zcisberger 
to  Onondaga,  the  chief  town  of  the  Iroquois.  They 
set  out  from  Bethlehem"  (Pennsylvania,  where  they 
had  founded  a  mission  in  1740,)  "on  the  14th  of 
May,  having  obtained  a  passport  from  the  Governor 
of  Pennsylvania,  requesting  all  the  subjects  of  the 
British  Government  to  forward  their  undertaking. 
•  •  •  On  the  19th  of  June,  they  reached  Onon- 
daga, situated  in  a  very  pleasant  and  beautiful 
country  and  consisting  of  five  small  towns  or  vil- 
lages "  The  account  goes  on  to  say  that  the  Bishop 
and  his  associate  were  received  at  the  great  council 
as  the  deputies  of  the  Church  of  the  United  Breth- 
ren. Permission  was  granted  them  to  keep  their 
missionaries  at  Onondaga  one  or  two  years  to  learn 
the  language  of  the  people.  The  Brethren  returned 
to  spend  the  winter  in  Bethlehem,  and  the  year  fol- 
lowing appeared  again  among  the  Onondagas,  by 
whom  they  were  very  cordially  received  and  lodged 
in  the  chief's  house.  All  things  went  prosperously 
for  about  a  year,  when,  on  account  of  trouble  and 
war,  acting  upon  the  advice  of  the  council,  they 
returned  to  their  homes. 

In  1754,  Zeisbcrger  returned  to  his  post  with  a 
brother  named  Charles  Frederick.  The  chief,  Can- 
NAS-SK-T.\-GO,  adopted  him  as  his  son,  and  he  had 
great  influence  with  the  Onondagas.  He  became 
an  eminent  Onondaga  scholar.  In  1768,  he  wrote 
and  completed  two  grammars,  one  in  English,  the 
other  in  German,  adapted  to  the  Indian  language,  a 
copious  dictionary  of  German  and  Indian,  contain- 
ing seven  quarto  manuscript  volumes  of  more  than 
seventeen  hundred  and  seventy  pages  of  writing, 
and  in  1776  he  published  a  spelling  book,  other  pri- 
mary books  for  learners,  and  Juvenile  devotional 
books.  We  find  no  permanent  fruits  of  this  mission 
or  that  it  was  ever  re-established,  although  feebly 
continued  for  several  years. 

The  mission  of  Rev.  Samuel  Kirkland  among  the 
Oneidas  began  in  August.  1766.  Mr.  Kirkland  re- 
mained among  them  for  over  forty  years.  During 
this  time  his  influence  spread  all  over  the  Iroquois 
country,  and  many  of  all  the  different  tribes  learned 


from  him  the  doctrines  and  precepts  of  the  Gospel. 
At  the  commencement  of  the  Revolution  he  re- 
moved his  family  to  Stockbridge,  Mass.,  for  safety, 
while  he  continued  his  mission  among  the  Onei- 
das. His  influence  over  them  contributed  materi- 
ally to  secure  their  neutrality,  and  in  several 
instances,  their  friendship  and  service,  during  the 
Revolutionary  struggle.  In  1779,  he  was  Brigade 
Chaplain  with  General  Sullivan  in  his  Indian  cam- 
paign, and  was  chaplain  to  the  garrison  at  Fort 
Schuyler  and  other  posts.  Messrs  Phelps  and 
Gorham,  large  purchasers  of  land  in  Western  New 
York,  deeded  him  two  thousand  acres  of  land  for 
his  valuable  services,  situated  in  township  No.  7, 
Ontario  county.  Mr.  Kirkland  was  a  native  of  Nor- 
wich, Conn  ,  in  which  town  he  was  born  December 
I,  1 74 1.  He  was  one  of  the  most  widely  useful  and 
influential  among  his  class  of  devoted  and  self-sac- 
rificing pioneer  missionaries.  Out  of  his  "  Plan  of 
Education  for  the  Indians,"  projected  in  1792,  grew 
the  Hamilton  Oneida  Academy,  which  was  incor- 
porated early  in  1793,  and  in  18 10  became  Hamilton 
College.  Mr.  Kirkland  endowed  the  Academy  with 
valuable  donations  of  land.  He  was  a  man  of  un- 
bounded benevolence  and  hospitality.  He  loved  the 
Indians  and  was  loved  by  them  most  sincerely  in 
return.  He  died  in  the  78th  year  of  his  age,  Feb- 
ruary 28,  1808,  and  was  buried  in  a  private  ground 
near  his  residence  in  Clinton. 

The  first  person  connected  with  the  Protestant 
Episcopal  Church  who  called  the  attention  of  the 
Onondagas  to  the  subject  of  religion,  was  Mr. 
Eleazer  Williams,  lay  reader,  catechist  and  school- 
master among  the  Oneidas.  By  the  request  of 
several  of  the  Onondaga  chiefs,  he  visited  that  nation 
first,  on  the  31st  of  March,  1816.  He  says  in  his 
journal :  "They  gave  me  no  time  to  refresh  myself, 
but  hurried  me  oft"  to  their  council  house,  to  hear, 
as  they  said.  '  The  words  of  Him  who  dwells  in 
hhavai' "  These  visits  were  followed  by  Rev. 
Timothy  Clowes,  Rector  of  St.  Peter's  Church, 
Albany,  who  pn  the  18th  of  July,  1816,  preached 
and  administered  the  sacrament.  He  baptized 
eht't/i  children  of  the  Onondagas.  In  July,  1817, 
they  were  visited  by  Mr.  Eleazer  Williams,  Rev. 
Wm.  A.  Clark  and  Rev.  Ezekiel  G.  Gear.  Baptism 
was  administered  by  Rev.  Mr.  Clark  to  fifteen,  and 
by  Rev.  Mr.  Gear  to  four  ox  five.  Mr.  Gear  con- 
tinued to  preach  frequently  among  the  Onondagas 
so  long  as  he  lived  at  "  the  Hill "  Indians  fre- 
quently came  there  for  public  worship  and  brought 
their  children  to  be  baptized  in  presence  of  the 
congregation.  Several  couples  were  also  married 
publicly  in  the  church.     Others,  among  whom  was 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


27 


one  principal  chief,  were  publicly  baptized,  and 
these  were  all  confirmed  at  Oneida,  on  some  occa- 
sion when  the  church  there  was  visted  by  Bishop 
Hobart. 

It  was  at  the  instance  of  Mr.  Gear  that  a  school 
was  opened  at  Onondaga  by  one  of  their  own  people 
— Mary  Doxtator,  who  had  been  educated  by  the 
Quakers  at  Philadelphia,  and  had  opened  an  indus- 
trial school  at  Oneida,  in  which  she  taught  the 
Indian  women  how  to  sew  and  spin  and  to  weave 
blankets  and  coverlets.  This  lady  was  induced  by 
Mr.  Gear  to  attempt  the  same  among  the  Onon- 
dagas,  which  she  did  with  considerable  success  in 
1820.  She  died  two  or  three  years  after  the  open- 
ing of  her  school,  among  the  Onondagas,  her  own 
people. 

This  Episcopal  missionary  work  ceased  among 
the  Onondagas  with  the  retirement  of  Rev.  Mr. 
Gear,  and  they  were  without  religious  instruction 
till  the  Methodists  founded  a  Mission  at  Oneida  in 
1829,  Occasional  services  were  from  this  time 
held  among  the  Onondagas  with  but  little  success, 
on  account  of  the  influence  of  the  "  Pagan  Party." 
The  head  men  of  the  nation  were  opposed  to  the 
establishment  of  schools  and  churches  among  them, 
and  it  was  not  until  the  year  1 841,  that  anything  like 
a  regular  organization  was  formed.  At  this  time 
nine  members  joined  a  class  formed  by  Rev.  Ros- 
man  Ingals,  who  had  been  appointed  a  missionary 
to  the  Oneidas  and  Onondagas.  The  communion 
vv^as  administered  at  Onondaga  Castle  after  the 
form  of  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church,  and  from 
the  1st  of  August,  1842,  the  Onondagas  had  preach- 
ing every  third  Sunday.  In  1842.  the  natives  pro- 
cured and  fitted  up  a  building  in  which  services 
were  held  till  1846,  when  the  new  school  house  was 
built  and  became  also  the  sanctuary  of  religion. 
Rev.  Daniel  Fancher  officiated,  preaching  three 
Sundays  each  month.  After  the  commencement 
of  Mr.  Fancher's  ministry,  the  number  of  com- 
municants increased  rapidly.  In  184S,  at  which 
time  a  new  and  commodious  church  was  erected^ 
costing  over  a  thousand  dollars,  there  was  not  less 
than  si.xty  who  received  regularly  the  bread  of  life. 

In  1845,  a  very  respectable  lady.  Miss  Mary 
Hitchcock,  was  induced  to  open  a  school  on  the 
Reservation  exclusively  for  Indian  children.  Her 
efforts  were  unwearied,  and  attended  with  measur- 
able success,  the  school  being  supported  mainly  by 
contributions  of  benevolent  white  patrons.  She 
boarded  herself  and  kept  the  school  in  the  church 
building.  In  April,  1846,  an  act  was  passed  by  the 
Legislature  authorizing  the  Indian  Agent  to  cause 
to  be  built  and  furnished  a  suitable  and  sufficient 


school  house  on  the  Onondaga  Reservation,  at  an 
expense  not  exceeding  three  hundred  dollars.  The 
sum  of  two  hundred  and  fifty  dollars  was  annually 
appropriated  for  a  term  of  five  years,  for  the  pay- 
ment of  teachers'  wages  and  other  expenses.  The 
following  year  a  school  house  was  completed  and 
school  opened  under  favorable  auspices  by  Mr.  L. 
B.  Whitcomb.  In  1849,  Rev.  Rosman  Ingals  had 
charge  of  the  school.  The  district  officers  were  of 
the  Indians,  assisted  by  the  Agent,  Town  Super- 
intendent and  Teacher,  who  managed  the  school 
with  benefit  to  themselves  and  credit  to  the  nation. 

The  Indian  children  are  bright,  and  in  many 
branches  show  as  much  aptitude  to  learn  as  Ameri- 
cans ;  but  the  chief  hindrance  to  their  education 
lies  in  their  unwillingness  to  attend  school.  Not 
more  than  half  the  number  of  suitable  age  are  found 
in  attendance. 

The  Onondagas  made  the  following  treaties  with 
the  people  of  the  State  of  New  York : 

First — The  treaty  of  Fort  Schuyler  (formerly 
Fort  Stanwix)  made  by  the  commissioners  on  behalf 
of  the  State,  His  Excellency,  George  Clinton, 
Governor,  William  Floyd,  Ezra  L.  Hommedien, 
Richard  Varick,  Samuel  Jones,  Egbert  Benson,  and 
Peter  Gansevoort,  Jr., — wherein  the  Onondaga 
nation  ceded  to  the  State  of  New  York  all  their 
lands  in  said  State,  except  the  Reservation  bounded 
as  follows  :  Beginning  at  the  southerly  end  of  the 
salt  lake,  at  the  place  where  the  river  or  stream,  on 
which  the  Onondagas  now  have  their  village,  empties 
into  the  said  lake,  and  running  from  the  said  place 
of  beginning  east  three  miles  ;  thence  southerly 
according  to  the  general  curve  of  said  river  until  it 
shall  intersect  a  line  running  east  and  west  at  the 
distance  of  three  miles  south  from  said  village ; 
thence  from  the  said  point  of  intersection  west  nine 
miles ;  thence  northerly  parallel  to  the  second 
course  above  mentioned,  until  an  east  line  will 
strike  the  place  of  beginning  ;  and  thence  east  to 
the  said  place  of  beginning. 

The  cession  in  this  treaty  was  made  in  considera- 
tion of  one  thousand  French  crowns  in  money  and 
two  hundred  pounds  in  clothing  at  the  price  which 
the  same  cost  the  people  of  New  York. 

Second — A  treaty  made  at  Onondaga  by  John 
Cantine  and  Simeon  DeWitt,  November  18,  1793, 
wherein  the  Onondagas  ceded  to  the  State  a  por- 
tion of  their  Reservation  comprised  in  two  tracts 
described  in  the  treaty  (Clark's  Onondaga,  vol.  i,  p. 
353.)  The  State  paid  the  Indians  four  hundred 
and  ten  dollars  as  a  perpetual  annuity  for  this  por- 
tion of  their  Reservation. 

Third— K  treaty  held  at  Cayuga  Ferry,  by  Phillip 


2a 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


Schuyler,  John  Cantinc,  David  Brooks  and  John 
Richardson,  July  28,  1795,  wherein  the  above 
annuity  was  changed  to  a  perpetual  annuity  of  eight 
hundred  dollars,  and  the  Onondagas  also  ceded  their 
right  in  the  Salt  Springs  and  one  mile  of  land 
around  the  same,  together  with  a  half  mile  tract  of 
land  between  the  northern  boundary  of  the  Reserva- 
tion and  the  Salt  Springs.  In  this  transaction  the 
State  paid  the  Indians  five  hundred  dollars  for  their 
right  in  the  Salt  Springs,  and  two  hundred  dollars 
for  the  half  mile  of  land,  with  an  annuity  of  one 
hundred  bushels  of  salt  to  be  delivered  annually  on 
the  first  day  of  June  in  each  year  forever. 

Fourth— Ai  a  treaty  made  at  Albany,  February 
25,  1817,  the  Onondagas  sold  and  conveyed  the 
following  described  lands,  viz  :  "All  that  certain 
tract  of  land  reserved  for  them  in  former  reser\-a- 
tions  known  as  the  Onondaga  Residaue  Resenation" 
This  land  lies  cast  of  the  present  Reservation  con- 
sisting of  twenty-seven  lots  of  from  one  hundred 
and  fifty  to  one  hundred  and  sixty  acres  each, 
amounting  in  all  to  about  four  thousand  acres.  One 
thousand  dollars  was  paid  down,  with  an  annuity  of 
four  hundred  and  thirty  dollars  and  fifty  bushels  of 
salt. 

I-'i/lh— On  the  1  ith  of  February,  1822,  at  a  treaty 
held  at  Albany,  they  sold  eight  hundred  acres  more 
of  their  land,  from  the  south  end  of  the  Onondaga 
Residence  Reservation,  for  the  sum  of  seventeen 
hundred  dollars. 


CHAPTER  VII. 

Migrations  of  the  Onondagas — Location  of 
TiiKiK  Various  Town  Sites — Period  of  their 
RrsiDKNCK  in  Kach  Locai.itv. 

GKN.  JOHN  S.  CLARK,  of  Auburn,  who  has 
devoted  much  time  to  antiquarian  research 
respecting  the  aborigines  of  this  county,  has  shown 
conclusively  that  the  Onondagas  were  a  migratory 
people,  and  that  they  occupied  tliffercnt  portions  of 
our  territory  at  different  periods,  beginning  with 
their  most  easterly  settlement,  just  prior  to  the  be- 
ginning of  the  historic  period,  or  about  the  year 
1620,  we  shall  follow  General  Clark  in  the  inverse 
order  of  his  argument,  and  note  the  points  at  which 
he  locates  the  homes  of  the  Onondagas  at  difl'erent 
periods. 

After  crossing  the  valley  of  the  east  branch  of 
the  Limestone  we  find  other  town  sites  indicating 
an  earlier  occupation,  but  of  like  character  and  mag- 
nitude as  those  to  the  west.  The  jnost  important 
of  these  is  the  one  found  on  lot  twenty-three,  on  the 


dividing  line  between  Onondaga  and  Madison  coun- 
ties. This  contains  about  ten  acres  of  land  and 
was  originally  enclosed  by  a  stockade.  All  the  facts 
point  unerringly  to  the  conclusion,  that  this  was  the 
position  occupied  previous  to  that  on  Indian  Hill, 
probably  from  about  1620  to  1650.  This  migratory 
line  can  be  continued  indefinitely,  step  by  step,  to 
the  east  and  north,  extending  along  the  eastern  ex-  , 
tremity  of  Lake  Ontario  to  the  St.  Lawrence.  In  \ 
Madison  county  we  find  the  point  apparently,  whence 
the  Oneidas  branched  oflf  from  the  Onondagas,  and 
swinging  around  by  successive  removals  in  an  east- 
erly and  northerly  direction,  finally  settled  down  at 
Oneida  Castle,  at  about  the  same  period  that  the 
Onondagas  were  in  the  Onondaga  valley. 

Another  period  of  fifty  years  introduces  us  to  a 
series  of  facts  that  cannot   possibly  be  reconciled 
with  a  supposed  residence  in  either  the  valley  of 
Onondaga  or  at  Jamesville.    In  1750  we  find  their 
castle  five  miles  from  Onondaga  Lake  ;  in  1700  we 
find  it  on  the  Ikitternut  creek,  and  eight  miles  from         1 
Onondaga  Lake.     We  rrow  come  to  authorities  in         ' 
like  manner  making  it  twelve  miles  from  the  Mis- 
sion site  of  St.  Mary  of  Ganentaha  on  the  cast  side 
of  Onondaga  Lake.     We   will    examine    a   few  of 
these  facts,  and,  if  possible,  by   going  back  to  the 
period  of  1650,  solve  this  new  difficulty. 

In  1654  the  Onondagas  were  visited  by  Le  Moyne 
by  way  of  Techiroguen,  at  the  foot  of  Oneida  Lake, 
and  by  Chaumonot  and  Dablon  in  the  succeeding 
year,  by  the  same  route  Dablon  returned  the  next 
March  from  Onondaga,  crossed  Oneida  Lake  on  the 
ice,  and  thence  took  the  usual  trail  to  Salmon  River.  I 
A  careful  study  of  their  journals  develops  the  fact 
that  Onondaga  then  was  ten  leagues  or  twenty-five 
miles  from  Techiroguen  by  way  of  regular  trail ; 
was  five  short  leagues  or  twelve  miles  from  the 
mission  site  of  St.  Mary's,  and  was  six  short  leagues 
from  Oneida  Lake,  or  about  fifteen  miles,  according 
to  Dablon's  journal. 

In  1G77,  while  living  in  the  same  position,  they 
were  visited  by  Mr.  Greenhalgh,  an  English  trader, 
who  finds  them  occupying  a  ver}'  large  town,  con- 
sisting of  about  one  hundred  and  forty  houses, 
situated  on  a  hill,  with  banks  on  each  side,  between 
which  the  town  extended  at  least  two  miles,  all 
cleared  land  and  on  which  corn  was  planted.  He 
also  says  they  were  thirty-six  miles  from  the  Onei- 
das' town  and  fifteen  miles  from  Oneida  Lake  ;  says 
the  town  was  not  stockaded,  and  makes  no  mention 
of  a  fort.  Taking  all  these  distances,  and  applying 
the  scale  to  the  map,  we  find  that  they  cut  each 
other  at  a  point  two  miles  south  of  the  village  of 
Manlius,  on  what  is  known  as  "Indian  Hill,"  be- 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


29 


tween  the  west  and  middle  branches  of  Limestone 
Creek.  This  position  is  fifteen  miles  from  Oneida 
Lake,  is  twelve  miles  from  St.  Mary's  of  Ganentaha, 
and  thirty-six  miles  from  the  residence  of  the 
Oneidas  in  1677,  and  ten  leagues  or  twenty-five 
miles  from  Techiroguen,  at  Brewerton. 

A  careful  examination  of  De  Witt  Clinton's, 
Schoolcraft's  and  Clark's  accounts  of  this  locality 
warrants  fully  the  conclusion  that  here,  in  1650, 
was  the  home  of  the  Onondagas,  and  occupied  dur- 
ing the  period  of  their  greatest  prosperity.  Here 
was  the  original  site  of  the  Mission  of  St.  John  the 
Baptist,  afterward  removed  to  their  residence  further 
west.  Here  it  was,  that  Garakontie  called  the 
Hurons  to  prayers  by  the  sound  of  a  bell,  the 
fragments  of  which  a  hundred  and  fifty  years  after- 
wards, were  turned  up  by  the  plow  to  bear  witness 
to  the  fact,  that  at  this  point  the  original  pioneers 
of  civilization  first  reared  the  cross  in  the  midst  of 
this  barbarous  people.  Here  Le  Moyne,  in  1654, 
with  a  single  companion,  courageously  entered  as 
an  embassador  to  negotiate  a  peace,  and  speaking 
to  the  assembled  sachems  of  the  nation  in  their 
own  tongue,  much  to  their  astonishment,  mentioned 
them  all  by  nations,  tribes,  families  and  individuals. 
Here  Chaumonot  the  next  year,  with  his  fascinating 
Italian  voice  and  fervid  eloquence,  carried  the 
council  bodily  on  a  wave  of  unqualified  admiration, 
that  led  them  to  declare  that  he  was  almost  the 
equal  of  an  Indian  orator.  In  this  valley  as  in  the 
others,  we  find  towns  of  minor  importance  extend- 
ing as  far  south  as  Delphi,  of  the  same  general  char- 
acter as  the  main  one  at  Indian  Hill,  all  furnishing  ar- 
ticles of  glass,  copper  and  iron,  showing  European 
intercourse,  and  from  the  general  character  of  the 
relics  showing  a  residence  of  about  the  same  period, 
and  by  the  same  people  ;  but  as  compared  with  more 
western  towns  they  show  distinctly  an  earlier  age 
of  occupation,  and  a  nearer  approach  to  the  pre- 
historic or  stone  age,  the  percentage  of  stone  im- 
plements increasing,  and  that  of  metalic  articles 
decreasing,  as  we  move  east.  We  here  find  speci- 
mens of  pottery  with  beautiful  designs  of  ornamen- 
tation, indicating  that  they  had  attained  a  high  posi- 
tion in  the  ceramic  arts. 

In  going  forward  half  a  century,  we  find  a  condi- 
tion of  historical  fact,  entirely  inconsistent  with  the 
idea  of  a  residence  in  Onondaga  Valley  ;  all  writers 
since  about  1720,  speak  of  them  as  being  in  the 
Onondaga  Valley,  and  five  miles  from  Onondaga 
Lake,  while  previous  to  that  time  they  represent 
them  as  eight  miles  from  the  lake,  or  from  Kaneenda 
at  its  southern  extremity.  Robert  Livingston  says 
in  1700:     *     *     *     "The  Onondagas  (who  must 


leave  their  Castle  speedily,  the  fire-wood  that  is 
near  being  consumed,")  «  *  *  ^^d  "you 
cannot  come  nearer  than  sixteen  miles  of  their 
Castle  by  water  except  you  go  around  by  Kane- 
enda," *  *  *  and  "that  Kaneenda  is  eight 
miles  from  their  Castle."*  Here  we  have  two  dis- 
tances furnished  from  given  points  —  one  eight 
miles  from  Onondaga  Lake,  the  other  sixteen  miles 
from  Oneida  Lake.  Again,  Robert  Livingston  and 
others,  as  commissioners,  in  their  report  in  April, 

1700,  "recommend  the  building  of  a  fort  at 
Kaneenda,  a  fishing  place  of  the  Onondagas  eight 
miles  from  their  Castle,  their  landing  place  when 
they  came  from  hunting  from  Lake  Ontario."!  James 
Bleeker  and  others  say  in   their  journal  in  June, 

1 70 1,  "The  Onondagas  would  receive  Mons.  Mar- 
recour  at  Kaneenda,  eight  miles  from  their  Castle."  J 
Col.  Romer,  an  English  engineer,  visited  them  in 
1700  to  select  a  suitable  place  for  building  a  fort,  and 
made  a  map  to  accompany  his  report,  which  hitherto 
was  supposed  to  have  been  lost,  but  fortunately,  has 
lately  been  discovered  in  the  British  Museum,  a 
copy  of  which  I  have  ;  on  this  map  the  main  town 
is  located  on  the  east  side  of  Butternut  Creek  as 
plainly  as  lines  could  designate  it. 

J.  Martin  Mack,  the  Moravian  Missionary  here- 
tofore mentioned,  while  on  his  way  to  Onondaga  by 
way  of  the  Mohawk  Valley,  says,  in  his  journal,  un- 
der date  of  August  20,  1752,  at  "  noon  some  In- 
dians, belonging  to  Onondaga,  met  us.  We  then 
came  to  a  place  where  many  posts  were  standing, 
from  which  we  concluded  that  a  town  must  have 
stood  there  formerly.  The  old  Seneca  told  Brother 
Zeisberger,  that  when  he  was  a  child  eight  years  of 
age,  Onondaga  stood  on  this  spot,  but  was  burned 
by  the  French.  In  the  afternoon  between  four  and 
five  o'clock  we  arrived  at  Onondaga." 

Sir  \Mlliam  Johnson  while  on  his  way  from  the 
East  to  Onondaga  in  1756,  says  in  his  journal,  un- 
der date  of  June  iS:  "The  Cayugas  sent  two 
messengers  from  Onondaga  who  met  Sir  William  at 
the  place  where  formerly  the  Onondagas  lived  about 
five  miles  from  ilieir  present  habitation.  Afterward 
arrived  at  Onondaga  and  from  thence  removed  his 
camp  to  the  site  of  Onondaga  Lake  about  five  miles 
from  their  Castle,  for  the  convenience  of  being  near 
his  batteaux  which  brought  the  presents  and  provi- 
sions."§  Many  other  authorities  can  be  adduced, 
showing  that  the  chief  town  or  Castle,  at  this  period 
was  five  miles  east  of  their  subsequent  location  in  On- 
ondaga Valley,  eight  miles  from  Kaneenda,  and  si.x- 


*Col.  Hist.  ix.  649. 
f  Col.  Hist.  iv.  655. 


J  Col.  Hist.  iv.  891. 
J  Col.  Hist.  vii.  133-4. 


30 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK 


teen  miles  from  Oneida  Lake,  but  those  already  pre- 
sented arc  deemed  quite  sufficient  to  demonstrate  be- 
yond the  possibility  of  question  that  the  main  village 
at  this  period  was  in  the  valley  of  Butternut  Creek 
south  of  Jamcsvilic.  These  distances  center  on  the 
farm  of  Mr.  O  M.  Atkins,  east  of  the  Reservoir  on  lot 
number  three.  An  examination  of  Clark's  History 
of  Onondaga  will  show  this  to  be  the  location  of  a 
very  large  Indian  town,  where  relics  have  been 
found  in  great  abundance,  indicating  Indian  occupa- 
tion and  Euroi>ean  intercourse.  The  place  was 
visited  at  an  early  date  by  DcVVitt  Clinton,  School- 
craft and  others  and  fully  described.  The  most  im- 
portant fact  developed  was  the  remains  of  a  stock- 
ade fort  of  singular  construction  in  the  form  of  a 
parallelogram,  with  bastions  at  the  angles,  enclosed 
by  a  double  row  of  cedar  palisades  placed  close  to 
each  other,  and  outside  of  these  another  row  several 
feet  distant,  the  whole  enclosing  about  ten  acres  of 
land.  A  detached  work  was  found  some  thirty  rods 
distant  to  the  northeast,  on  higher  ground,  probably 
used  as  redoubts,  and  connected  by  a  covered  way 
with  each  other. 

It  will  be  remembered  that  Frontenac,  in  1696, 
invaded  the  Onondagas'  territory  with  a  large  army 
of  French  and  Indians.  He  landed  on  the  east  side 
of  Onondaga  Lake,  and  after  constructing  his  tem- 
porary fort  for  the  protection  of  his  batteau.x  and 
supplies,  he  marched  up  the  Onondaga  Valley  in 
two  lines  of  battle,  and  on  approaching  the  strong- 
hold of  the  Onondagas,  found  it  abandoned  and 
burned.  Frontenac  described  the  fort  as  "  an  ob- 
long, flanked  by  four  regular  bastions,  with  two  rows 
of  pickets  which  touched  each  other,  and  were  of 
the  thickness  of  an  ordinary  mast,  and  at  six  feet 
distant  outside,  stood  another  row  of  palisades  of 
much  smaller  dimensions,  but  from  forty  to  fifty  feet 
high."  Charlevoix  describes  the  same  as  "  a  rec- 
tangle, with  four  bastions,  surrounded  by  a  double 
palisade,  flanked  by  redoubts,  with  fence  formed 
of  poles  from  forty  to  fifty  feet  high."  One  evi- 
dently taking  his  view  from  the  enclosed  work,  the 
other  from  the  enclosing  one,  but  both  agreeing 
substantially  with  each  other,  and  with  the  descrip- 
tions of  Clinton,  Schoolcraft  and  Clark. 

The  dcscrijjtion  of  Frontenac  and  Charlevoix,  of 
this  very  remarkable  and  peculiarly  constructed 
work,  so  exactly  in  accordance  with  the  remains 
found  by  the  early  settlers,  if  examined  with  care, 
cannot  fail  to  convince  any  unprejudiced  mind  that 
on  this  identical  spot  stood  the  famous  citadel  of 
the  Onondagas  in  1696,  abandoned  and  burned  by 
them  on  the  approach  of  the  French. 

Here  was  the  home  of  the  Onondagas  from  about 


1680  to  1720,  as  history  says  they  rebuilt  on  the 
same  ground,  and  the  ne.\t  spring  planted  the  same 
fields  laid  waste  by  their  enemies  ;  this  was  the 
home  of  the  great  Dekannissore,  the  warrior,  states- 
man and  orator  ;  the  equal  of  any  of  the  great  men 
of  his  race,  living  or  dead.  As  in  the  Onondaga 
Valley,  so  in  this,  we  find  evidences  of  detached 
hamlets  and  small  towns  to  the  south,  occupied 
when  it  was  considered  safe  to  settle  at  a  distance 
from  their  stronghold. 

We  next  find  the  homes  of  the  Onondagas  in 
Onondaga  Valley  from  1720  to  1790. 

John  Hartram  an  English  trader,  in  company 
with  Lewis  Evans,  visited  the  Onondagas  in  1743, 
with  Shikellmy  and  Conrad  Weiser,  as  guides, 
coming  from  the  south  by  way  of  Owego.  Bishop 
Cammerhoff  and  David  Zeisberger,  Moravian  mis- 
sionaries, visited  them  in  1750,  coming  from  the 
south  through  the  Cayugas'  country. 

Zeisberger  afterwards  resided  among  them, 
learned  their  language,  was  adopted  into  the  turtle 
clan,  and  was  highly  esteemed  and  honored  by  the 
Onondagas,  and  as  an  especial  token  of  confidence, 
the  Grand  Council  deposited  its  entire  archives, 
comprising  many  belts  of  wampum,  written  treaties, 
&c.,  in  the  Mission  House  and  constituted  him  sole 
keeper  of  those  important  records.  Henry  Frey, 
Godfrey,  Rundt,  and  J.  Martin  Mack,  were  com- 
panions of  Zeisberger,  and  accompanied  him  up  the 
Valley  of  the  Mohawk,  the  latter  named  gentleman 
writing  the  itinerary  of  the  journey.  Several  of 
those  gentlemen  traveled  from  Albany  to  the  Gene- 
see, and  from  Pennsylvania  to  Lake  Ontario,  and 
have  left  interesting  and  valuable  accounts  of  their 
observations. 

Sir  William  Johnson  visited  tli^m  in  1756,  to  at- 
tend a  general  council,  and  mentions  the  fact  of  the 
town  being  five  miles  from  Onondaga  Lake.  He 
constructed  a  stockade  fort  for  them  in  the  same 
year,  located  about  half  a  mile  south  of  the  village 
of  Onondaga  Valley,  on  the  west  side  of  the  creek, 
the  remains  of  which  were  still  standing  when  the 
first  settlers  entered  in  1790.  All  of  these  authori- 
ties agree  in  their  general  descriptions  of  the  coun- 
try and  its  occupants,  and  describe  the  towns  as 
consisting  of  a  series  of  hamlets  located  on  both 
sides  of  Onondaga  Creek,  and  extending  for  three 
miles  up  and  down  the  valley.  Many  of  them  con- 
tained two  or  more  families,  and  rarely  were  more 
than  four  or  five  near  each  other,  the  intervening 
spaces  being  occu|)ied  by  great  patches  of  high  grass, 
bushes,  fruit  trees,  peas,  beans,  and  large  fields  of  In- 
dian corn.  The  Council  House,  occupying  a  central 
point,  was  about  eighty  feet  in  length  by  seventeen 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


31 


in  breadth,  with  a  common  passage  way  six  feet  in 
width  through  its  center.  Bartram,  in  1743,  as- 
cended both  the  east  and  west  hills,  and  mentions 
the  fact  of  their  beitig  covered  with  timber  to  the 
top,  but  makes  no  mention  of  an  upper  town,  while 
Zeisberger  in  1752  speaks  of  a  lower  town,  and  the 
upper  town  on  Onondaga  Hill.  A  small  village 
(Tiatachtonti)  was  located  about  four  miles  south  of 
the  main  town,  where  many  apple  trees  were  in 
bearing  at  that  date. 

This  condition  of  affairs  continued  without  ma- 
terial change  until  the  campaign  of  1779,  when  all 
these  towns  were  destroyed  in  the  expedition  of 
Col.  Van  Schaick.  From  about  1720  until  the  re- 
moval to  the  reservation,  this  valley  was  the  home 
of  this  central  nation  of  the  Confederacy.  Here  re- 
sided Canassetago  and  Oundiaga  and  other  illustri- 
ous names,  who  flourished  during  this  period  ;  but 
their  history  is  so  well  known  and  authorities  are  so 
accessible  that  it  will  be  a  waste  of  time  to  dwell 
longer  on  this  part  of  their  history. 

Such  have  been  the  homes  or  principal  villages 
of  the  Onondagas  ;  other  subordinate  villages,  mis- 
sionary, fishing  and  trading  stations,  existed  in  dif- 
ferent localities,  as  at  an  early  day  Techiroguen,  an 
Indian  fishing  village,  on  the  Oneida  river,  at  the 
outlet  of  Oneida  Lake,  on  the  site  of  the  present 
village  of  Brewerton.  This  was  a  regular  crossing 
place  of  the  great  north  and  south  trail.  Le  Moyne 
mentions  it  in  1654  as  on  the  south  side  of  the  river, 
while  Charlevoix  indicates  it  by  name  as  on  the 
north  side  on  his  map  published  in  1744.  In  1656 
the  mission  of  St.  Mary  of  Ganentaha  was  located 
on  lot  106  in  Salina,  on  the  north  shore  of  Onon- 
daga Lake.  Here  was  erected  the  first  Roman 
Catholic  chapel  in  the  State  of  New  York,  and  here 
Frontenac,  in  1696,  constructed  a  stockade  fort,  for 
the  temporary  protection  of  his  supplies  and  bat- 
teaux,  while  engaged  in  his  expedition  against  the 
Onondagas  and  Oneidas.  A  fishing  village  or  land- 
ing place,  existed  at  the  southern  extremity  of 
Onondaga  Lake,  called  by  the  Indians  Geneata,  the 
same  as  the  lake,  but  by  the'  English  called  Kene- 
enda  ;  I  retain  the  English  spelling  and  pronuncia- 
tion to  distinguish  it  from  the  French  Mission  site 
called  Ganentaha. 

It  appears,  from  the  foregoing  statement  of  facts, 
abundantly  conclusive  that  the  Onondagas  occupied 
the  site  of  the  Indian  fort  and  village  on  Lot  23,  on 
the  dividing  line  between  the  counties  of  Onondaga 
and  Madison  from  about  1620  to  1650  ;  at  "  Indian 
Hill"  between  the  west  and  middle  branches  of 
Limestone  Creek,  about  two  miles  south  of  the 
village  of  Manlius,  from  1650  to  1680  ;  in  the  valley 


of  the  Butternut  Creek  south  of  Jamesville,  on  the 
farm  of  Mr.  O.  M.  Atkins,  Lot  No.  3,  from  1680 
to  1720;  and  in  the  Onondaga  Valley,  where  they 
were  found  by  the  earliest  settlers,  from  1720  to 
1790. 

The  Mohawks  in  like  manner  have  drifted  from 
point  to  point  within  the  historic  period  and  genera- 
tions previous,  and  no  writer  has  been  bold  enough 
to  attempt  the  indentification  of  any  of  the  sites 
mentioned  in  our  early  history  ;  and  yet  it  is  not 
very  difficult  to  unravel  the  tangled  mysteries  of 
their  peculiar  migrations.  The  Cayugas,  also  drift- 
ing in  a  generally  southern  direction,  have  left  their 
footprints  as  easily  to  trace  from  point  to  point  as 
are  the  tracks  of  the  school-boy  in  the  newly  fallen 
snow. 

The  Senecas  also  migrated  on  a  definite  line  at 
an  early  day,  and  when  the  Fries  were  subjugated, 
carried  their  colonies  to  the  extreme  western  limits 
of  the  State.  At  the  time  of  Sullivan's  campaign 
they  were  living  in  fine  framed  houses,  had  over- 
flowing granaries  and  immense  fields  of  Indian 
corn.  Their  villages  were  numbered  by  the  score, 
some  of  them  of  large  dimensions,  and  containing 
great  numbers  of  people. 


CHAPTER  VIII. 

Antiquities — Relics  of  European  Intercourse 
WITH  the  Indians — The  Monumental  Stone 
OF  1520  Discovered  in  Pompey — Other  Curi- 
ous Relics. 

IT  is  evident  from  relics  discovered  in  various 
parts  of  this  county  that  European  intercourse , 
with  the  aborigines  was  much  more  general  at  an 
early  period  than  history  gives  any  account  of,  or 
than  has  commonly  been  supposed.  One  of  the 
most  noted  places  where  these  remains  have  been 
found  is  at  "  Indian  Hill,"  some  two  miles  south  of 
the  village  of  Manlius,  on  land  formerly  owned  by 
Isaac  P.  Jobs,  now  the  property  of  John  Hatch. 
This  is  the  place  where  Gen.  John  S.  Clark,  the  an- 
tiquarian, locates  the  home  of  the  Onondagas  from 
about  1620  to  1650.  The  whole  length  of  the  ele- 
vation bearing  evidence  of  having  been  inhabited, 
is  nearly  a  mile,  and  the  width  from  one  hundred 
to  one  hundred  and  fifty  rods. 

In  1 82 1,  a  brass  medal  was  discovered  near  this 
place  by  Mr.  John  Watson.  It  was  without  date 
On  one  side  of  it  was  a  figure  of  Louis  XIV,  King, 
of  France  and  Navarre  ;  on  the  reverse  side  was 
represented  a  field  with  three  fleur  de  lis  sup- 
porting a  royal  crown,  surrounded  by  the  name  of 


32 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


Naif  Lanfar  &  Co.  It  was  about  the  size  of  a  Span- 
ish pistarccn  and  had  been  compressed  between 
dies.  The  characters  and  letters  were  quite  dis- 
tinct. This  relic  passed  into  the  possession  of  Hon. 
Samuel  Mitchell. 

When  this  ground  was  first  cultivated  by  the  early 
settlers,  gun-barrels,  sword  blades,  hatchets,  clay 
pipes,  cop|)cr  kettles,  brass  chains,  beads  of  glass, 
pewter  plates,  finger  rings,  ear  and  nose  jewels,  lead 
balls,  iron  gate  hangings,  copper  coins,  tools  for  work- 
ing wood  and  iron,  and  many  other  articles  used  only 
by  civilized  men,  together  with  human  bones,  were 
frequently  found  on  or  near  the  earth's  surface. 

There  was  a  circular  fort  here,  from  three  hun- 
dred to  three  hundred  and  fifty  feet  in  diameter, 
with  one  narrow  gateway. 

In  1801,  Mr.  John  Hatch  plowed  up  three  mus- 
kets and  a  blunderbuss.  The  stocks  were  decayed 
and  the  muzzles  flattened,  as  if  with  the  head  of  an 
ax.  Nearly  all  the  gun-barrels  found  had  their 
muzzles  thus  flattened,  indicating  that  it  was  prob- 
ably done  to  prevent  them  from  being  again  useful 
in  the  hands  of  an  enemy.*  The  guns  usually 
found  were  of  a  heavy  make,  with  bell-shaped 
muzzles,  apparently  of  English  manufacture.  The 
copper  coins  were  French,  but  so  corroded  that  the 
marks  and  dates  could  not  be  deciphered. 

Clark,  who  published  his  history  in  1849,  says: 
"  At  every  plowing  something  new  is  brought  to 
light.  Not  long  since  a  curiously  wrought  brass 
chain,  two  and  a  half  feet  long  and  one  inch  and 
a  half  wide,  was  found.  Its  appearance  was  as  if  it 
had  recently  been  subjected  to  the  action  of  fire, 
and  the  most  prominent  parts  newly  polished.  A 
curious  brass  image  was  recently  found  there, 
probably  a  part  of  some  Romish  priest's  collection." 

Contiguous  to  this  place  was  an  extensive  bury- 
ing ground  covered  with  graves  of  men,  women 
and  children.  The  skeletons  were  usually  found 
buried  in  a  sitting  posture  facing  the  cast,  with 
some  domestic  utensil  or  weapon  of  war  between 
the  thigh  bones.  Trees  of  two  hundred  years 
growth  once  stood  over  these  graves. 

Near  David  Williams',  Pompey,  one  mile  from 
"  Indian  Hill  "  was  another  place  of  considerable 
importance  called  "The  Castle."  In  1815,3  brass 
medal  was  here  found,  on  one  side  of  which  was  an 
equestrian  image  with  a  drawn  sword,  and  on  the 
other  "  William  Prince  of  Orange,"  with  a  crest  or 
coat  of  arms.  The  date  was  obliterated,  but  Wil- 
liam Prince  of  Orange  flourished  in  1689,  and  had 
been  quite  conspicuous  in  the  aflairs  of  New  York 
some  years  previous.     This  medal  may  have  been  a 

*    CUrk'i  Unoaitft,  vul.  i,  p.  156. 


present  by  him  to  some  distinguished  Indian  chief. 
In  that  neighborhood  a  basswood  tree  was  cut  down 
and  an  ineffectual  attempt  made  to  split  the  first 
twelve  feet  of  it  into  rails.  Upon  examination  a 
large  chain  was  found  encircling  it,  over  which  one 
hundred  and  seventy-eight  concentric  circles  had 
formed,  representing  as  many  years'  growth.  A 
large  hemlock  tree  was  discovered  with  three  distinct 
cuts  of  an  ax  imbedded  beneath  one  hundred  and 
seventy  nine  years' growth.  Subtracting  one  hun- 
dred and  seventy-eight  from  1815,  the  time  when 
these  examinations  were  made,  and  we  have  the 
date  1637,  as  the  time  when  these  marks  are 
supposed  to  have  been  made,  at  which  time  it  is 
reasonable  to  suppose  the  neighborhood  was  in- 
habited by  Europeans. 

David  Williams  at  one  time  plowed  up  the  skele- 
ton of  a  man,  and  found  with  it  a  small  brass  kettle 
filled  with  corn  and  beans  in  a  tolerably  good  state 
of  preservation.  The  kettle  was  used  in  his  family 
for  domestic  purposes  several  years. 

Mr.  Hinsdell,  of  Pompey,  had  at  one  time  in  his 
possession  three  vises,  one  of  which  was  very  large, 
the  jaws  alone  weighing  forty-one  pounds.  It 
was  beautifully  engraved  all  over  with  representa- 
tions of  dogs,  bears,  deer,  squirrels,  fishes,  birds, 
and  was  altogether  a  very  beautiful  specimen  of 
workmanship.  Another,  a  hand  vise  of  excellent 
quality,  was  sold  to  Mr.  Boylston,  a  silversmith,  of 
Manlius  village,  who  used  it  while  he  continued  in 
business  there.  A  ;//rj/ of  brass  kettles  wasalso  found 
by  Mr.  David  Hinsdell,  the  largest  of  which  would 
hold  two  pails  full  and  the  smallest  about  three 
pints.  Some  of  the  smaller  ones,  being  well  pre- 
served on  account  of  the  protection  afforded  by  the 
larger  ones  outside,  were  used  in  Mr.  Hinsdell's 
and  Mr.  Weston's  families  for  several  years. 

A  case  of  surgical  instruments,  much  corroded 
by  rust,  was  found  by  the  side  of  a  human  skeleton 
— probably  the  first  physician  and  surgeon  ever  in 
Pom])ey.  Among  the  relics  positively  known  to  be 
French,  are  several  brass  crescents  bearing  the  in- 
scription "  Hot  de  France  et  Dim"  They  were 
probably  used  for  nose  and  ear  jewels.  Rows  of 
large  corn  hills  were  abundant  near  all  the  places 
bearing  evidences  of  occupancy,  and  were  distinctly 
traceable  by  the  early  settlers. 

Most  of  the  grounds  mentioned  had  undoubtedly 
been  scenes  of  hard-fought  battles,  of  which  the 
Indians  had  preserved  unpleasant  traditions,  for  such 
was  their  abhorrence  of  scenes  enacted  here  that 
never,  except  in  a  few  rare  instances,  could  they  be 
induced  to  visit  the  spot  near  the  old  fort  and  bury- 
ing ground.     They   turned   from   it  with  a  sort  of 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


33 


shudder,  exclaiming,  "Oie-qneh  sa-he-eh  ! — 'Tis  the 
field  of  blood!' * 

The  most  singular  and  interesting  relic  yet  dis- 
covered in  this  locality,  is  the  monumental  stone 
found  by  Mr.  Philo  Cleveland  on  his  farm  about  the 
year  1820.  It  consists  of  a  stone,  apparently  gran- 
ite, oval  shaped,  about  fourteen  inches  long  by 
twelve  inches  wide  and  eight  inches  thick,  bearing 
the  inscription  of  a  tree  in  the  center  with  a  serpent 
coiled  around  it,  and  the  words  and  date,  Leo  X  De 
Lon  VI,  1520.  This  stone  is  now  in  the  Museum  of 
the  Historical  Institute  at  Albany,  and  is  universally 
admitted  to  be  an  authentic  relic  of  antiquity.  The 
date  on  it  shows  that  it  was  three  hundred  years  old 
at  the  time  of  its  discovery  ;  fifty-seven  years  have 
since  elapsed  ;  hence  it  carries  back  the  date  of  the 
earliest  European  occupation  of  this  locality  to 
three  hundred  and  fifty-seven  years  beyond  our 
own  time.  That  this  stone  was  left  by  some  Euro- 
pean who  was  a  Roman  Catholic,  and  had  accurate 
knowledge  of  the  history  of  that  Church,  is  evident, 
and  it  is  equally  clear  that  it  was  left  by  some 
transient  visitor,  for  a  colony,  or  even  several. per- 
sons residing  in  the  place,  would  certainly  have  left 
other  relics  of  a  similar  antiquity. 

The  inscription  has  been  interpreted — Leo  X,  by 
the  grace  (^or  will)  of  God,  sixth  year  of  his  pontfi- 
cate.  The  words  De  Lon,  or  initials  L.  S.,  as  some 
read  them,  have  been  taken  to  be  the  name  or  initials 
of  the  person  buried,  as  the  stone  is  undoubtedly  a 
sepulchral  monument,  placed  there  to  mark  the  lonely 
grave  of  some  one  who  died  during  an  adventurous 
journey  through  the  wilderness,  a  hundred  years 
before  the  Jesuit  missionaries  found  their  way  to  the 
huts  of  the  Indians.  Whether  the  cross  engraved 
on  the  stone  is  an  Indian  or  a  Roman  Catholic  cross, 
does  not  concern  us,  neither  does  the  question  as 
to  his  belonging  to  the  Masonic  fraternity,  sup- 
posed by  some  to  be  indicated  by  a  rude  emblem 
on  the  right  hand  corner  of  the  stone :  the  only 
points  of  importance  being  the  date  and  the  accuracy 
of  the  historical  knowledge  which  it  reveals.  Pope 
Leo  X  was  crowned  pope  in  1514,  and  hence  1520 
would  be  the  sixth  year  of  his  pontificate.  The 
most  probable  explanation  of  this  ancient  relic  is, 
that  some  Spanish  adventurers  in  quest  of  silver 
mines  had  penetrated  this  region  from  Florida,  and 
one  of  them  dying,  his  companions  erected  this 
simple  memorial  to  mark  the  place  of  his  burial. 
There  is  a  tradition  that  the  shores  of  Lake  Ganentaha 
were  covered  with  a  bright  substance  that  shone  in 
the  sun  (crystalized  salt)  and  that  the  Indians,  then 
ignorant   of  the  nature  of  this  substance,  reported 

*  Clark's  Onondaga,  2  vol.,  p.  263. 

s* 


this  fact  to  the  Spaniards,  who,  supposing  it  to  be 
silver,  came  here  in  search  of  it  and  passed  down 
the  Oswego  River.  If  they  came  here  by  the 
waters  of  the  Susquehanna,  as  may  be  supposed,  it 
is  quite  likely  that  they  would  ascend  to  the  height 
of  land  to  find  the  water  courses  in  the  opposite 
direction,  or  to  discover  the  lake  in  the  valley  below 
them,  which  may  account  for  their  finding  their 
way  to  Pompey.  This  is  all  supposition,  it  is  true, 
but  is  quite  as  rational  as  any  other,  inasmuch  as 
the  Spaniards  were  the  only  Europeans  at  that 
period  on  the  continent  who  could  have  left  such  a 
relic  as  this  singular  stone. 

Mr.  William  Raskins,  who  was  the  fifth  inhabit- 
ant in  the  township  of  Pompey,  on  lot  No.  13,  (now 
in  Lafayette)  in  1792,  informed  Mr.  Clark,  that  on 
first  plowing  the  lands,  almost  every  variety  of  im- 
plement used  in  agriculture  and  the  common  arts 
was  found  in  that  neighborhood.  They  consisted 
of  knives  supposed  to  be  of  French  manufacture, 
axes,  with  the  English  stamp,  gun-barrels,  some  of 
them  with  a  portion  of  the  stock  remaining,  quanti- 
ties of  ship  spikes,  pump  hooks,  a  spy  glass,  trammel 
hooks  and  chains.  In  one  instance  a  large  quantity 
of  musket  balls  was  plowed  up  by  the  side  of  a 
rock.  The  remains  of  a  wheel-barrow,  with  the  iron 
entire,  also  anvils  and  vises,  unfinished  gun-barrels 
and  gun-locks,  indicating  that  the  art  of  making 
these  had  been  carried  on,  hand  saws,  files  and 
fragments  of  church  bells. 

On  this  ground  the  graves  were  arranged  with 
great  regularity,  side  by  side,  in  rows  of  ten  or 
fifteen  rods  in  extent.  In  the  vicinity  were  other 
groups  of  graves,  but  not  in  regular  order.  Upon 
examination  the  bodies  appear  to  have  been  enclosed 
in  wooden  or  bark  boxes.  In  one  grave  was  found 
two  glass  bottles.  In  plowing,  fragments  of  glass 
bottles,  earthen  and  China  ware,  and  a  stone,  cut  in 
imitation  of  a  watch,  were  found. 

On  Butternut  creek  south  of  Jamesville  in  the 
town  of  Lafayette,  (formerly  lot  3  in  the  town  of 
Pompey)  on  the  farm  of  Mr.  O.  M.  Watkins,  are  the 
remains  of  an  ancient  fort  and  burying  ground.  The 
land  here  formerly  belonged  to  Mr.  Isaac  Keeler. 
When  he  settled  here  the  site  of  the  old  fort  was 
an  opening  of  about  fifty  acres,  bearing  grass  with 
clumps  of  plum  trees  and  a  few  scattering  trees  of 
the  natural  forest.  Mr.  Keeler  left  some  of  these 
plum  trees  standing  and  cultivated  them,  and  found 
that  they  yielded  very  excellent  fruit.  On  this  open- 
ing was  paraded  the  first  regiment  of  militia  organ- 
ized in  the  County  of  Onondaga,  commanded  by 
Major  Moses  De  Witt.  At  that  time  the  outlines 
of  the  fort  were  distinctly  traceable.     It  had  been 


34 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


enclosed  with  palisades  of  cedar,  and  contained  about 
ten  acres  of  land.  The  plan  was  that  of  a  plain 
parallelogram  divided  across  the  shortest  way  in  the 
middle  by  two  rows  of  palisades  running  east  and 
west.  The  space  bctsvccn  the  rows  was  about 
twelve  feel  At  the  northwest  corner  was  an 
isolated  bastion  and  embrasure. 

This  spot  has  been  idcnliticd  by  General  Clark  as 
the  home  of  the  Onondagas  from  1680  to  1720.  and 
the  spot  on  which  stood  the  famous  citadel  burned  by 
the  Indians  on  the  approach  of  Frontenac's  army  in 
1696.  After  the  French  invasion  they  returned 
and  rebuilt  upon  the  same  spot,  and  the  next  spring 
planted  the  same  corn  fields  which  had  been  laid 
waste  by  their  enemies.  The  situation  of  this  an- 
cient fort  was  on  an  elevation  gradually  rising  for 
nearly  a  mile  in  every  direction,  and  at  the  time  of 
its  occupancy  several  hundred  acres  of  land  in  the 
vicinity  must  have  been  cleared  ;  giving  to  the  gar- 
rison an  extensive  prospect.  Says  Clark  in  his 
Onondaga  :  "  Here  in  ancient  times  have  undoubt- 
edly been  marshaled  with  nodding  plume  and  rat- 
tling cuirass,  the  troops  of  the  French  side  by  side 
with  the  dusky  Onondagas,  singularly  contrasting 
their  polished  European  weapons  with  the  hickory 
bows  and  flint  arrows  of  their  allies." 

Among  the  relics  found  upon  the  site  of  this 
fort  and  in  its  vicinity,  was  a  portion  of  a  brass 
dial  plate,  engraved  in  Roman  characters  with 
the  numerals  from  one  to  eight,  a  brass  compass 
bo.x  minus  the  needle,  another  more  beautifully 
wrought,  having  on  one  side  a  representation  of  our 
Saviour  and  on  the  other  Mary,  the  mother  of  Jesus, 
a  balance  beam  eighteen  inches  long,  a  lead,  oval 
shaped  crucifix,  an  iron  horse  shoe,  steel  corked,  with 
three  elongated  nail  holes  on  each  side,  the  workman- 
ship, probably,  of  some  Canadian  blacksmith,  a  brass 
shield,  sword  blades,  sword  guards,  fragments  of 
sword  blades,  gun  locks,  saws,  surgical  instruments, 
bracelets  of  brass  three  inches  broad  and  highly  orna- 
mented, and  many  other  relics  indicating  the  pres- 
ence of  the  French  and  the  Jesuit  missionaries.  In 
1813,  Mr.  Isaac  Keeler  felled  an  oak  tree  near  the 
site  of  the  fort  in  which  was  found  a  leaden  bullet 
covered  by  a  hundred  and  forty-three  cortical  layers, 
— probably  lodged  there  from  a  gun  as  early  as  1667. 
There  are  evidences  that  light  cannon  were  used  at 
this  and  other  similar  places  of  fortification.  On 
the  land  of  Mr.  Samuel  A.  Keene  was  plowed  up 
an  iron  bombshell  about  the  size  of  a  six  pound 
ball,  weighing  two  and  three-fourths  pounds.  Can- 
non balls  of  small  size  have  been  found  in  the  east- 
ern part  of  Pompey. 

In  the  town  of  Elbridge  were  numerous  evidences 


of  ancient  occupancy  by  the  French.  On  lot  81, 
originally  the  farm  of  Squire  Munro,  was  a  fort 
situated  on  the  high  ground  back  of  Mr.  Munro's 
house.  This  fort  was  square,  except  on  the  west 
side,  where  the  line  was  curved  a  little  outward,  and 
when  examined  by  the  first  settlers  in  1793,  the 
ditch  and  embankments  were  covered  with  heavy 
timber.  It  enclosed  about  an  acre  and  a  quarter  of 
ground,  having  a  gateway  on  the  west  side  about 
twelve  feet  in  width.  A  very  singular  fact  was  ob- 
served by  the  early  settlers,  viz:  That  the  ground 
in  this  vicinity,  and  in  some  other  parts  of  the  town, 
was  literally  covered  with  pitch  pine  knots,  which 
lay  strewn  on  the  ground  apparently  in  the  same 
order  in  which  they  had  fallen  with  the  trees.  Hun- 
dreds of  wagon  loads  of  these  knots  have  been 
gathered  for  the  purpose  of  making  torches  for 
fishing  in  the  Seneca  River.  This  is  singular,  as 
but  one  pitch-pine  tree  was  known  to  the  early  set- 
tlers to  exist  in  the  town,  and  that  was  left  standing 
for  several  years  on  account  of  its  singularity. 

Northwest  from  the  fort  above  mentioned,  about 
one  mile  and  a  half,  on  what  has  been  called  the  Purdy 
lot,  is  situated  Fort  Hill,  containing  another  of  these 
ancient  works  of  much  larger  dimensions,  having  an 
area  of  about  four  and  a  half  acres  and  embank- 
ments, when  first  discovered,  about  three  feet  high. 
It  is  situated  on  the  highest  elevation  in  the  town. 
On  this  ground  was  disinterred  an  oaken  chest  in  a 
decayed  state,  which  upon  examination  was  found 
to  contain  a  quantity  of  silk  goods  of  various  colors. 
The  folds  and  colors  were  easily  distinguished,  but 
after  a  moment's  exposure  to  the  air,  the  fabrics 
crumbled  to  dust.  Several  copper  coins  were  found 
with  the  silks  which  were  deposited  in  some  museum 
in  Albany  or  New  York  The  discovery  of  these  ar- 
ticles occurred  about  the  year  1800.  On  lot  84,  farm 
of  Mr.  Caleb  Brown,  about  forty  rods  south  of  the 
road,  in  the  town  of  Elbridge,  was  a  circular  fort 
which  covered  about  three  acres  of  ground.  Pieces 
of  timber  were  found  here  having  upon  them  marks 
of  iron  tools.  In  a  well  about  fourteen  feet  deep, 
which  bore  evidence  of  having  been  timbered  up, 
was  found  a  quantity  of  charred  corn  of  the  variety 
called  Virginia  corn  ;  and  in  another  fort  on  the  site 
of  Mr.  Brown's  house  and  garden,  including  a  por- 
tion of  the  highway,  were  found  evidences  of  a 
blacksmith  shop,  such  as  cinders,  charcoal,  &c. 
The  French,  undoubtedly,  had  a  trading  post  or 
missionary  station  in  this  neighborhood  at  an  early 
time,  no  written  record  of  which  has  been  preserved. 

In  the  town  of  Salina,  on  lot  106,  is  found  the 
ruins  of  an  old  fortification,  probably  that  established 
in  connection  with   the   Mission  of  St.   Marys  of 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


35 


Ganentaha,  founded  in  1656.  When  the  white 
people  came  to  settle  in  the  neighborhood  of  Salina, 
this  ground  was  covered  with  small  trees,  apparent- 
ly a  second  growth,  which  had  sprung  up  after  the 
mission  was  abandoned.  Judge  Geddes,  as  reported 
by  Mr.  Clark,  says:  "In  the  summer  of  1797, 
when  the  Surveyor-General  laid  out  the  salt  lots,  I 
officiated  as  deputy-surveyor,  and  when  traversing 
the  shores  of  Onondaga  Lake,  I  found  between 
Brown's  pump  works  and  Liverpool,  the  traces  of  an 
old  stockade,  which  I  surveyed  and  made  a  map  of. 
Our  opinion  was,  from  the  truth  of  the  right  angles, 
and  other  apparent  circumstances,  that  it  was  a 
French  work.  A  fine  spring  of  water  rises  near 
by."  The  map  made  by  Judge  Geddes  is  in  the 
Surveyor  General's  office  at  Albany,  but  a  cut  of 
the  fort  appears  in  Clark's  Onondaga,  page  147, 
second  volume. 

On  this  ground  have  been  plowed  up  bras3  ket- 
tles, gun  barrels,  musket  balls,  axes,  grape  shot,  and 
a  variety  of  other  relics.  In  1794,  the  ditch  was 
easily  to  be  traced,  and  some  of  the  palisades  were 
standing.  The  work  embraced  about  half  an  acre 
of  land,  and  from  its  location  was  a  place  of  beauty, 
convenience  and  strength.  Cultivation  and  time 
have  removed  all  traces  of  its  existence.  There 
was  an  ancient  burying  ground  at  Green  Point. 

When  the  first  settlers  came  to  the  town  of  Onon- 
daga the  pickets  of  an  old  fort  were  still  standing 
and  places  visible  where  others  had  stood.  At 
the  corners  were  evident  marks  of  a  chimney  and 
fire  places,  and  also  the  ruins  of  a  blacksmith  shop. 
Cinders  and  a  variety  of  tools  belonging  to  the 
trade  have  at  different  times  been  plowed  up,  among 
which  was  a  large  and  excellent  anvil.  Major  Dan- 
forth  once  received  a  letter  from  an  old  Frenchman 
stating  that  he  would  find  in  the  bank  of  the  creek 
not  far  from  his  (Danforth's)  house,  a  complete  set 
of  blacksmith's  tools.  Search  was  made  for  them, 
but  they  have  never  come  to  light. 

In  1798,  on  the  west  part  of  the  farm  after- 
wards occupied  by  Gilbert  Pinckney,  in  the  town 
of  Onondaga,  could  be  seen  a  trench  about  ten 
rods  long,  three  feet  deep  and  four  feet  wide  at 
the  top,  on  the  border  of  a  steep  gulf  and  par- 
allel with  it,  apparently  a  work  constructed  for 
defence.  In  this  locality  have  been  found  every  vari- 
ety of  Indian  implement — arrow  heads,  spear  points, 
knives  of  flint,  stone  axes,  etc.,  and  here  also  several 
burial  places  were  known  to  the  early  settlers.  In 
1815,  on  the  farm  of  Joseph  Forman,  at  Onondaga 
Hollow,  was  plowed  up  an  oaken  pail  containing 
about  four  quarts  of  leaden  bullets,  supposed  to 
have  been  buried   during  the  Revolutionary  war. 


On  the  premises  of  Judge  Strong  there  was  an  old 
French  burying  ground,  and  several  bodies  were 
exhumed  in  excavating  for  the  cellar  of  the  Judge's 
residence  in  18 16.  Webster  told  Judge  Strong  that 
the  Indians  had  a  tradition  that  in  one  of  their  bat- 
tles with  the  French  in  the  Hollow,  which  had  been 
protracted  and  severe,  the  French  removed  their 
wounded  to  this  spot,  and  here  buried  such  as  died. 
Among  the  most  interesting  relics  of  antiquity 
discovered  in  this  county  is  the  Dutch  medal, 
so  called,  described  by  Mr.  Clark  in  the  following 
passage  :  "  In  July,  1S40,  was  found  on  the  farm  ot 
Mr.  William  Campbell,  by  his  son,  on  lot  No.  3,  La- 
fayette, a  silver  medal  about  the  size  of  a  dollar  and 
nearly  as  thick.  On  one  side  is  a  device  surmounted 
by  an  angel  on  the  wing,  stretching  forward  with  its 
left  hand,  looking  down  upon  those  below  with  a 
resolute,  determined  and  commanding  countenance. 
Far  in  the  background  is  a  lofty  ridge  of  moun- 
tains. Just  beneath  and  away  in  the  distance  is 
seen  an  Indian  village  or  town,  towards  which  the 
angel  is  steadily  and  earnestly  pointing.  Above 
this  overhangs  a  slight  curtain  of  cloud  or  smoke. 
Between  the  village  and  the  mountains  are  scatter- 
ing trees,  as  if  an  opening  had  just  been  made  in 
the  forest ;  nearer  are  seen  various  wild  animals 
sporting  gaily.  In  bolder  relief  are  seen  Europeans, 
in  the  costume  of  jDriests  and  pilgrims,  with  staves, 
exhibiting  by  their  gestures  and  countenances  hilari- 
ty, gladness  and  joy,  winding  their  way  up  the  gentle 
ascent  towards  the  mountain,  decreasing  in  size  from 
the  place  of  departure,  until  lost  from  view.  Among 
them  are  wheel  carriages  and  domestic  animals, 
intermixed.  On  the  right  is  a  fair  representation 
of  a  cottage,  and  a  spacious  commercial  warehouse, 
against  which  are  leaning  sheaves  of  grain.  The 
whole  is  surrounded  by  the  following  inscription  in 
Dutch  :  Gehe  aus  deinem  Vatter  land,  i  b. 
M.,  XII.,  v.  I,  and  at  the  bottom  across,  Lasst  Hier 
Diegvter.  On  the  opposite  side  there  is  a  figure 
of  the  sun  shining  in  meridian  splendor,  casting  its 
noontide  rays  over  a  civilized  town,  represented  by 
churches,  stores,  dwellings,  &c.,  with  various  domes- 
tic animals  and  numerous  persons  engaged  in  hus- 
bandry and  other  pursuits.  In  bolder  relief  stand 
Europeans  in  the  costume  of  the  fifteenth  and  six- 
teenth centuries,  engaged  as  if  in  animated  and 
joyful  conversation  and  greetings,  and  by  various 
attitudes  manifesting  happiness  and  joy.  On  the 
right  is  represented  a  section  of  a  church,  at  the 
door  of  which  stands  a  venerable  man  with  head 
uncovered,  with  his  hands  extended  as  if  welcoming 
these  persons  to  a  new  and  happy  habitation.  This 
side  is  surrounded  by   the   following   inscription  : 


36 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


Vkd  Dv  Soli-t  Ein  Seeges  Seyn,  i  b.  Mos..  xii., 
V.  2,  and  acruss  the  bottom  as  follows  :  Gott  Ginr 
Siewiedek. 

The  interpretation  of  the  first  side  is  :  Get  thee 
out  from  thy  country  and  friends,  thou  shall  be 
truly  a  blessing.  On  the  reverse  side,  which  should 
be  read  in  connection  :  Leaving  thy  goods  behind 
thee,  God  will  restore  them  to  thee  again.  The 
small  letters  and  figures  on  the  right  refer  to  the 
I  St  book  of  Genesis,  XII  chap.,  verses  ist  and  2d, 
which  inscription  on  the  medal  was  taken  from 
those  verses  in  the  Dutch  Hiblcs. 

It  is  in  this  chapter  that  God  callcth  Abraham  and 
blesseth  him  with  a  promise  of  Christ ;  promiseth 
him  the  land  of  Canaan  in  a  vision,  to  which  he 
departed  with  his  kindred  and  friends  and  servants 
and  there  builded  an  altar  unto  the  Lord. 

•  •  •  «  • 

"This  medal  must  have  been  none  other  than 
one  given  by  his  countrymen,  in  Fatherland,  to  a 
devoted  missionary,  with  a  party  of  followers,  in- 
tending to  spend  their  days  in  America,  the  land 
of  promise,  the  fruitful  Canaan  of  modern  times, 
who  in  the  goodness  of  his  heart,  bent  on  doing  the 
work  of  his  divine  master,  at  some  early  day 
wandered  into  the  wilds  of  the  Ononilagas,  set  up 
the  cross  (the  Bethel  of  Abram,i  and  left  this 
memento  of  his  mission  in  the  hands  of  some 
Neophyte,  which  by  some  unaccountable  circum- 
stances has  been  buried  we  know  not  how  long, 
but  now  comes  to  light  to  prove  to  us  that  the 
aborigines  of  our  country  were  a  people  whose 
spiritual  welfare  was  regarded  as  sincerely  by  the 
Dutch  as  by  their  more  ostentatious  neighbors,  the 
French.  It  is  much  to  be  regretted  that  on  this 
and  all  other  medals  there  is  no  date  whereby  to 
establish  their  particular-period  of  antitjuity.  This 
is  by  far  the  most  singular  and  interesting  relic  of 
the  kind  which  has  come  under  our  notice,  and  goes 
positively  to  establish  the  hitherto  doubtful  point, 
to  wit  :  The  early  establishment  of  missionaries 
by  the  Dutch  among  the  Onondagas." 

The  suggestion  of  Mr.  Clark  in  a  foot  note  that 
this  medal  may  have  been  a  relic  of  the  Zeisberger 
Mission  of  1750,  is  worthy  of  weight  as  being 
probably  the  true  solution  of  the  problem. 

Tlic  presentation  of  medals  to  the  Indians  was 
undoubtedly  a  very  common  practice  among  the 
missionaries  and  traders.'  A  valuable  cross  of  gold 
was  several  years  ago  found  in  the  west  part  of 
Pompey,  and  was  sold  for  thirty  dollars.  It  had 
upon  it  the  significant  "  I.  H.  S."* 

•  Jciui  Hominum  Salvitor,  or  Jetui  Savior  of  Men. 


CHAPTER  IX. 

Internal  Navigation — The  Old  Canal — Ori- 
gin OF  THE  Erie  Canal — Part  Taken  in  it  by 
Eminent  Men  of  Onondaga  County — Its 
Completion  and  Advantages. 

THE  old  system  of  internal  navigation  origi- 
nated by  Mr.  Christopher  Colles,  of  New 
York,  in  1785,  and  completed  under  the  auspices  of 
the  Western  Inland  Lock  and  Navigation  Company 
in  the  year  1800,  was  a  great  work  for  its  day.  It 
consisted  of  the  construction  of  a  canal  and  locks 
around  Little  Falls  on  the  Mohawk  River,  the  open- 
ing of  a  canal  from  the  Mohawk  at  Rome  (then 
Fort  Stanwi,\)  to  Wood  Creek,  connecting  thence 
with  Oneida  Lake,  and  the  improvement  of  naviga- 
tion in  the  Oswego  and  Seneca  Rivers.  The  Com- 
pany, in  order  to  complete  this  work,  borrowed  of  the 
State  in  1796,  fifteen  thousand  pounds,  and  in  1797, 
two  hundred  and  fifty  thousand  dollars.  What 
is  now  known  as  the  "  Old  Canal"  in  some  locali- 
ties is  the  remnant  of  this  ancient  improvement, 
which  fell  into  disuse  when  the  Eric  Canal  was  built. 
It  was  in  its  day  a  very  useful  impro%ement  and 
aided  greatly  in  the  settlement  and  development 
of  the  resources  of  Central  and  Western  New  York. 
Many  a  pioneer  and  his  family  were  conveyed  over 
that  old  thoroughfare  to  their  new  homes  among 
the  lakes  and  sylvan  seclusions  of  the  western  wil- 
derness ;  many  a  cargo  of  merchandise  was  shipped 
over  it  and  freight  of  produce  sent  to  market,  till 
the  growing  population  and  commerce  demanded 
ampler  and  more  extended  facilities  for  transporta- 
tion. 

From  1807  till  after  the  war  of  18 12-14,  the  pro- 
ject of  a  new  canal  connecting  the  navigable  waters 
of  the  Hudson  with  Lake  Erie  was  extensively  agi- 
tated. The  origin  of  the  idea  of  this  magnificent 
enterprise  is  attributed  to  Gouverneur  Morris,  who 
in  a  conversation  with  the  Surveyor-General,  Simeon 
DeWilt,  in  1S03,  remarked:  "  Lake  Erie  must  be 
tapped  and  its  waters  carried  over  the  country  to 
the  Hudson." 

So  great  was  the  interest  of  the  people  of  Onon- 
daga in  this  proposed  canal,  that  in  1807  they  elected 
Judge  Joshua  F'orman  to  the  State  Legislature  with 
express  reference  to  his  introducing  the  subject  be- 
fore that  body.  He  was  a  man  eminently  qualified 
for  the  work,  and  by  his  able  and  indefatigable  sup- 
port of  the  measure  from  its  very  inception,  did 
more  than  any  other  man  to  bring  it  to  a  successful 
consummation.  While  in  the  Legislature  in  Feb- 
ruary, 1808,  he  secured  the  passage  of  a  joint  reso- 
lution ordering  a  survey  and  the  appointment  of  a 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


37 


joint  committee  of  both  houses,  consisting  of  Messrs. 
Gold,  Gilbert,  German,  Hogeboom  and  Forman, 
of  the  House,  and  Messrs.  Taylor,  Nicholas  and 
Ward  of  the  Senate.  This  committee  being  pre- 
disposed in  favor  of  the  Oswego  route,  left  it  op- 
tional with  the  Surveyor-General  to  either  adopt 
that  or  any  other  route  he  might  deem  proper.  The 
result  was  that  tliree  routes  were  surveyed  and  re- 
ported upon  by  the  Engineer,  Judge  James  Geddes, 
whose  connection  with  the  survey  of  this  great  en- 
terprise is  briefly  as  follows  : 

On   the   iith  of  April,   1808,  a  law  was  passed 
authorizing  the  Surveyor-General  to  draw  upon  the 
Treasury  of  the  State  for  such  an  amount  as  might 
be  required  to  prosecute  the  survey  contemplated 
by  the  joint  committee,  not  exceeding  in  the  whole 
the  sum  of  six  Itiaidred  dollars ;  and  this  was  all 
that  was  appropriated  for  the  first  exploration  and 
survey  of  the  grand   Erie  Canal !     Upon  this  the 
Surveyor-General  appointed  James  Geddes,  Esq.,  of 
Onondaga,   to   make,  the  survey,  and  in   his  com- 
mission   and    instructions    to    Mr.    Geddes,  makes 
these  remarks  :    "  As  the  provision  made  for  the 
expenses  of  this  business  is  not  adequate  to  the 
effectual  exploring  of  the  country  for  this  purpose, 
you  will,  in    the   first   place,    examine   what   may 
appear  to  be  the  best  route  for  a  canal  from  Oneida 
Lake  to  Lake  Ontario,  in  the  town  of  Mexico,  and 
take  a  level  and  survey  of  it ;  also  whether  a  canal 
cannot   be  made   between   the  Oneida   Lake  and 
OsYvfego  by  a  route   in    part    to  the  west  of  the 
Oswego  River,  so  as  to  avoid  those  parts  along  it 
where   it   will   be   impracticable  to  make  a   good 
navigation.     The  next  object  will  be  the  ground 
between  Lakes  Erie  and  Ontario,  which  must  be 
examined  with  a  view  to  determine  what  will  be  the 
most  eligible  track  for  a  canal  from  below  Niagara 
Falls  to  Lake  Erie.     If  your  means  will  admit  of  it, 
it  would  be  desirable  to  have  a  level  taken  through- 
out the  whole  distance  between  the  lakes."     The 
Surveyor-General    refrains    from    instructing    Mr. 
Geddes  to  make  an  interior  survey,  because  of  the 
insufficiency  of  the  appropriation  for  that  purpose. 
Mr.  Clark  says  in  a  note  :    "  Mr.  Geddes'  expenses 
exceeded  the  appropriation  by  seventy-five  dollars, 
which  sum  was  afterwards  allowed  by  the  Legisla- 
ture, so  that  the  whole  engineer's  expenses  for  this 
exploration  cost  the  State  of  New  York  only  six 
hundred  and    seventy-five   dollars,   an   investment 
made  by  the  State  which,  for  profit  and  importance, 
will  probably  never  be  exceeded." 

Mr.  Geddes  entered  with  zeal  and  earnestness 
upon  his  duties,  and  in  1809  submitted  his  report 
of  three  different  routes  :  the  first,  a  communication 


between  Lake  Oneida  and  Lake  Ontario ;,  second, 
the  Niagara  River  route  ;  and  third,  an  interior 
route,  without  descending  to,  or  passing  through, 
Lake  Ontario. 

In  comparing  the  Ontario  with  the  interior  route, 
the  report  was  strongly  in  favor  of  the  latter.     In 
addition,  Mr.  Geddes  was  directed  to  examine  by 
inspection  a  canal  route  from  Lake  Erie  to  Genesee 
River,  and  thence  to  the  waters  running  east  to  the 
Seneca  River,  and  gather  all  the  information  in  his 
power  for  the  prosecution  of  the  great  work,  should 
the  Legislature  think  best  to  provide  for  it.     The 
report  was  favorable  on  the  practicability  of  an  inte- 
rior route  from  Lake  Erie  ;  and  it  is  worthy  of  re- 
mark that  Judge  Geddes'  plan  and  route  were  mainly 
followed   in  the  final  location  of  the  canal*     The 
country  from  the  Seneca  River,  in  the  Cayuga  Val- 
ley, to  the  Mohawk  River  at  Rome,  and  thence  to 
the  Hudson  River,  was  so  well  known  as  to  leave 
no  apprehension  of  insuperable  difficulties.     Thus 
by  the  operations  of  1808,  through  the  instrumen- 
tality of  the  true  men  of  Onondaga,  the  fact  was 
satisfactorily  established  that  a  canal  from  the  Hud- 
son River  to  Lake  Erie  was  not  only  practicable, 
but  practicable  with  uncommon  facility,  f     In  Jan- 
uary, 1809,  in  company  with  William  Kirkpatrick, 
then    member  of   Congress   from   Oneida  county. 
Judge  Forman  waited  on  President  Jefferson  and 
informed  him  that  in  view  of  his  proposition  to  ex- 
pend the  surplus  revenues  of  the  nation  in  making 
roads  and  canals,  the  State  of  New  York  had  ex- 
plored the  route  of  a  canal  from  the  Hudson  River 
to   Lake  Erie,  and  had  found  it  practicable ;  and 
when  Mr.  Forman  had  laid  all  the  estimates,  plans 
surveys,    descriptions  and    anticipated    advantages 
before  Mr.  Jefferson,  and  portrayed  its  commercial 
prospects  and  the  advantages  which  would  accrue 
to  the  United  States  as  well  as  to  the  State  of  New 
York,  the  President  very  coolly  replied  :    "  It  is  a 
splendid   project,  and   may  be  executed  a  century 
hence.     Why,  sir,"  said  he,  "  here  is  a  canal  of  a  few 
miles,  projected  by  General  Washington,  which,  if 
completed,  would  render  this  a  fine  commercial  city, 
which  has  languished  for  many  years  because  the 
small  sum  of  two  hundred  thousand  dollars  neces- 
sary to  complete  it  cannot  be  obtained  from   the 
general  government  nor  from  individuals  ;  and  you 
talk  of  making  a  canal  tliree  hundred  and  fifty  miles 
through  a  wilderness.     It  is  little  short  of  madness 
to  think  of  it  at  this  day."J 

The  favorable  and  satisfactory  reports  of  Judge 

*  See  Biography  of  Hon.  James  Geddes. 

\  Clark's  Onondaga. 

\  Hosack's  Life  of  Clinton,  p.  347. 


38 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NKW  YORK. 


Gcddcs  secured  in  1810  the  appointment  by  the 
Legislature  of  a  Hoard  of  Commissioners  comjwsed 
of  Gouvcrncur  Morris,  Stephen  Van  Rensselaer 
DeWitt  Clinton.  Simeon  DeWitt.  William  North. 
Thomas  Eddy  and  Peter  H.  I'ortcr,  to  whom  were 
afterwards  added  Robert  R.  Livingston  and  Robert 
Fulton.  These  gentlemen  were  instructed  to  ex- 
plore the  inland  navigation  route, and  they  reported 
favorably  the  next  year.  The  next  point  was  to 
obtain  a  competent  engineer  to  lay  out  the  Erie 
Canal.  Where  should  they  apply  ?  Supposing 
there  was  not  a  suitable  man  in  America  to  accom- 
plish the  great  task,  they  applied  through  an 
American  gentleman  at  London  for  the  services  of 
William  Weston,  then  considered  the  most  accom- 
plished engineer  in  Euroi^c.  oflering  as  a  maximum 
salary  seven  thousand  dollars  a  year."  F'ortunatcly, 
Mr.  Weston's  engagements  were  such  that  he 
thought  proper  to  decline.  In  this  dilemma  James 
Gcddcs  and  l^cnjamin  Wright,  Esqrs.,  held  a  con- 
sultation and  agreed  to  go  before  the  Hoard  of  Canal 
Commissioners  and  ofi'er  to  survey  the  canal  route 
jirovidcd  they  would  give  them  their  confidence. 
The  proposition  was  accepted,  and  they  were  en- 
gaged on  a  salary  of  fifteen  hundred  dollars  a  year. 
"  It  may  be  considered,"  says  Clark,  "  a  fortunate 
circumstance  that  Mr.  Weston  did  not  accc])t  the 
offer  of  the  Canal  Commissioners.  Hecatisc,  from 
the  ostentation  usually  displayed  by  foreign  engi- 
neers and  the  great  expense  attending  their  move- 
ments, the  jieople  of  this  frugal  and  republican 
country  would  have  bccf>mc  discouraged,  and  it  is 
more  than  jjrobable  the  work  would  have  been 
abandoned  or  at  least  indefinitely  deferred.  It  is 
worthy  of  remark  that  the  engineers  employed  on 
the  lirie  and  Champlain  Canals  were  Americans, 
except  in  two  instances,  where  a  French  and  an  Irish 
gentleman  were  employed  in  subordinate  stations 
for  less  than  a  year." 

After  another  ineffectual  attempt  to  enlist  Con- 
gress in  the  work,  the  Commissioners,  in  March, 
1 81 2,  made  a  report  "That  tio7f  sound  jmlicy  de- 
manded that  the  canal  should  be  made  by  the  State 
of  New  York  on  her  own  account."  The  war  of 
1812  caused  a  susjicnsion  of  the  project  till  the  ses- 
sion of  the  Legislature  in  1816,  at  which  time  a 
memorial  was  presented  to  tlie  Legislature,  signed 
by  more  than  one  hundred  thousand  jiersons  from 
New  York  and  the  counties  through  which  the  pro- 
posed canals  should  pass,  calling  upon  its  members 
to  pass  laws  to  prosecute  the  work  without  delay 

*  Mr.  Wolon  hid  luncjrnl  the  route  and  lock*  of  (he  Old  Canal  I'ur 
(he  inland  Lock  and  Navigatian  Company  around  Little  Fallt  and  from 
Fort  Stanwii  to  Wood  Creek,  in  I7tl. 


A  large  meeting  ol  the  citizens  of  Onondaga  county 
was  held  at  the  Court  House  on  the  23d  of  February, 
1816.  A  preliminary  meeting  had  been  previously 
held  at  which  Judge  Forman  had  been  appointed  a 
committee  to  prepare  a  memorial  to  the  Legislature. 
This  memorial  was  read  by  Judge  F'orman  at  the 
meeting,  and  approved  by  acclamation.  A  com- 
mittee was  appointed  to  circulate  it  throughout  the 
county,  consisting  of  Daniel  Kellogg,  of  Marcellus  ; 
Gideon  Wilcoxon,  Camillus ;  Jonas  C.  Haldwin, 
Lysander ;  Ashbel  Kellogg,  Salina  ;  John  Leach, 
Cicero;  Sylvanus  Tousley,  Manlius;  Harnet 
Mooney,  Hannibal ;  Daniel  Wood,  Pompey  ;  Marcus 
Adams,  Fabius  ;  Ashel  Rouiuly.  Spafford  ;  Garret 
Van  Hoesen,  TuUy  ;  and  Joshua  Forman,  of  Onon- 
daga ;  adding  the  chairman  and  secretar)' :  Signed, 
James  Geddes,  chairman  :  Jasper  Hopper,  secre- 
tary. Over  three  thousand  names  were  subscribed 
to  this  memorial.  The  memorial,  which  was  drawn  up 
with  great  ability,  contemplated  $io,cxX),ooo  for  the 
cost  of  the  canal,  covering  all  possible  contingencies. 
Of  this  it  charged  the  State  of  New  York  with 
$2,500,000 ;  the  United  States  with  $2,500,000  ; 
the  State  of  Ohio.  §1,000,000;  the  City  of  New 
York  and  counties  contiguous  to  the  canal,  $2,000,- 
000  ;  and  private  stock  holders,  $2,000,000. 

The  Legislature  authorized  a  loan  on  the  credit 
of  the  State  of  a  million  of  dollars,  and  the  section 
from  Rome  to  the  Seneca  River  was  fixed  upon  as 
the  first  to  be  commenced. 

In  1816,  Judge  Geddes  made  another  report  of 
the  state  and  general  view  of  the  country  from 
Hlack  Rock  Rapids  to  the  Cayuga  Marshes,  and 
Henjamin  Wright,  Esq  ,  upon  the  same  subject  from 
the  Cayuga  Marshes  to  Rome,  and  thence  through 
the  Mohawk  Valley  to  Albany.  The  attempt  made 
to  enlist  Congress  in  1817  again  failed  and  the 
State  of  New  York  was  thrown  upon  her  own 
resources.  A  thorough  examination  was  made  of 
the  route,  and  revised  estimates  placed  the  cost  of 
the  entire  canal  at  five  millions  dollars.  The  route 
was  divided  into  three  sections.  The  levels  and 
surveys  of  the  previous  year  were  reviewed  In 
order  to  test  their  accuracy  and  correctness,  Mr. 
Geddes  started  from  a  jjoint  near  the  west  end  of 
Oneida  Lake,  and  taking  the  lake  on  a  still  day  as 
a  level,  carried  a  line  of  levels  up  to  the  canal  line 
on  the  long  level  east  of  Syracuse,  and  thence 
working  eastward  laid  off  sections  on  the  canal 
line.  Mr.  Wright,  starting  from  a  point  cast  for  the 
east  end  of  Oneida  Lake,  in  like  manner  carried  a 
level  along  the  line  of  the  canal  westward,  and  the 
Commissioners  remark,  that  when  the  level  of  Mr. 
Wright  had  been  carried  to  the  place  where  Mr. 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


39 


Geddes  had  terminated  his  line,  the  levels  of  these 
two  engineers,  which  embraced  a  distance  of 
nearly  one  hundred  miles,  differed  from  each  other 
less  than  one  inch  and  a  half  This  result  exhibits 
in  the  engineers  a  degree  of  care,  skill  and  preci-- 
sion  never  exceeded. 

The  first  contract  was  dated  June  27,  181 7.  The 
remaining  part  of  the  middle  section  was  under 
contract  soon  after.  The  excavation  was  com- 
menced at  Rome  with  appropriate  ceremonies,  July 
4,  1817.  The  first  contract  was  given  to  Judge 
John  Richardson,  of  Cayuga.  "  It  is  perhaps,"  re- 
marks Clark,*  "  a  singular  coincidence  that  the  first 
movement  in  the  halls  of  legislation  relative  to  the 
Erie  Canal,  was  made  by  a  member  from  Onondaga, 
— that  the  first  exploration  was  made  by  an  engi- 
neer of  Onondaga,— that  the  first  contract  was 
given  to,  and  the  first  ground  broken  by  a  contrac- 
tor who  had  been  several  years  a  resident  of  Onon- 
daga, and  all  of  whom  had  been  Judges  of  our  coun- 
ty courts  and  members  of  the  Legislature  from 
Onondaga  County." 

Governor  Clinton,  in  his  annual  message  of  1820, 
reported  ninety-four  miles  completed  on  the  middle 
section  from  Utica  to  the  Seneca  River,  including  a 
lateral  canal  to  Salina.  By  the  opening  of  this  por- 
tion of  the  canal,  the  resources  of  Onondaga  County 
were  more  fully  ascertained  and  developed.  Her 
salt,  gypsum  and  lime  found  their  way  to  a  ready 
market,  and  the  produce  of  the  agriculturist  an 
outlet,  affording  more  ample  remuneration  for  labor  ; 
a  new  and  vigorous  impulse  was  given  to  her 
advancement  and  prosperity,  which  placed  her 
among  the  first  counties  of  the  Empire  State — a 
position  she  is  destined  long  to  enjoy.  Notwith- 
standing these  favorable  results  there  were  not 
wanting  narrow  minded  and  selfish  men  actively 
engaged  to  defeat  the  further  progress  of  the  work. 
Many  argued  that  the  income  of  the  whole  canal 
would  not  equal  the  cost  of  the  part  already  com- 
pleted. Local  feelings  had  to  be  combatted,  preju- 
dices overcome,  indignities  borne,  and  every  species 
of  contumely  and  perverseness  encountered  by  the 
supporters  of  the  enterprise.  But  with  a  devo- 
tion above  all  praise,  the  commissioners  and  advo- 
cates of  the  work  faltered  not,  till  finally,  in  Novem- 
ber, 1825 — a  period  of  eight  years  and  four  months 
from  the  time  of  beginning — it  was  proclaimed 
to  the  world  that  the  waters  of  Lake  Erie  were  con- 
nected with  those  of  the  Hudson  River,  without 
one  foot  of  portage,  through  one  of  the  longest  ca- 
nals in  the  world  ;  and  the  cost,  according  to  the 
books  of  the  Comptroller,  including  the  Champlain 

*  2  Onondaga,  p.  6i. 


Canal,  was  $8,273,122.66,  and  is  considered  one  of 
the  most  stupendous  and  magnificent  works  of  this 
or  any  age. 

If  the  canal  has  benefited  the  people  of  Onon- 
daga, the  men  of  Onondaga  were  the  principal  pro- 
moters of  the  undertaking  in  all  its  incipient  steps. 
It  was  Judge  Geddes,  of  Onondaga,  who  traversed 
the  wilderness  of  Western  New  York,  and  gathered 
all  the  materials  and  reported  all  the  facts  upon 
which  statistics  were  based,  and  Joshua  Forman,  of 
Onondaga,  who  from  the  beginning  was  the  uncom- 
promising, unflinching  defender  and  eloquent  ad- 
vocate of  the  great  work  ;  and  it  was  not  until  after 
these  men  had  labored  long  and  faithfully  in  the 
cause,  that  the  giant  intellect  and  master  mind  of 
DeWitt  Clinton  was  aroused  to  a  sense  of  the  im- 
portance of  this  magnificent  undertaking.  These 
two  men  of  Onondaga,  from  the  beginning  to  the 
end,  were  intimately  connected  with  the  work,  in 
fact,  identical  with  it  and  indispensable  to  it.  They 
labored  faithfully  and  effectually  throughout — 
Judge  Geddes  as  an  able  engineer.  Judge  Forman  as 
the  unwavering  promoter  of  its  utility.  These  two 
men  furnished  more  solid  information  relative  to  the 
canal  than  all  others  put  together.  Till  they  took 
hold  of  it,  the  whole  matter  was  considered  by  most 
men  but  an  idle  dream,  a  delusion,  a  false,  unfeasible 
project.* 

The  fathers  of  this  stupendous  work  should  be 
forever  venerated  for  their  perseverance  in  over- 
coming the  opposition  they  had  to  contend  against, 
both  from  individuals  and  from  the  infancy  of  the 
country  they  had  to  penetrate  and  to  depend  upon 
for  the  means  of  making  the  enterprise  a  success. 
We  must  always  admire  genius  struggling  against 
fate,  with  a  lofty  and  enthusiastic  purpose  which 
scorns  all  defeat,  triumphs  over  all  obstacles  and 
conquers  even  fate  itself,  in  the  contest.  A  few 
miles  of  aqueduct  constructed  by  the  wealthy  east- 
ern nations  in  the  height  of  their  prosperity  have 
called  forth  our  admiration  as  a  great  achievement. 
But  what  nation  in  its  youth  has  ever  had  the 
courage  to  undertake  three  liundred  and  fifty  miles  of 
canal,  without  having  even  an  engineer  of  their 
own  till  the  event  developed  and  brought  him  for- 
ward, equal  to  the  great  task .'  It  has  been  truly 
said  that  great  occasions  produce  great  men.  And 
it  was  so  in  this  case.  When  the  work  was  to  be 
done,  and  foreign  assistance  could  not  be  procured, 
the  men  were  found,  on  the  spot  where  the  enter- 
prise was  to  be  undertaken,  able  and  willing  to  carry 
it  on  to  its  grand  consummation. 

The  first  ground  broken  on  the  Erie  Canal  in  the 


*  I  Clark's  Onondaga,  p.  63. 


40 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK 


county  of  Onondaga,  was  by  Mr.  Elias  Gumaer,  in 
the  town  of  Manlius.  Oliver  Teall,  Esq.,  took 
several  contracts  in  the  eastern  part  of  the  county. 
Messrs.  Northrupand  Dexter,  and  Jeremiah  Kecler, 
built  a  section  or  two  through  Syracuse.  Hazard 
Lewis,  of  Binghamton.  built  the  locks.  The  first 
locks  were  built  of  Elbridgc  sandstone.  Commis- 
sioners, builders  and  masons  had  no  idea  that  the 
Onondaga  limestone  could  be  cut  for  facing  stones 
for  locks,  so  little  was  this  valuable  material  then 
understood. 

After  the  water  was  let  in,  for  a  long  time  it 
would  not  flow  farther  east  on  the  Syracuse  level 
than  the  Stone  Bridge  It  all  disappeared  in  a  bed 
of  loose  gravel.  This  difficulty,  however,  was  after 
a  while  remedied,  and  all  went  well.  The  first  boats 
used  were  the  Mohawk  boats,  with  wide  walking 
boards  for  poling  up  the  Mohawk  River. 

Oliver  Tcall  was  appointed  the  first  Superin- 
tendent of  the  Erie  Canal,  and  Joshua  Forman, 
the  first  Collector  ;  office  at  Syracuse. 

The  leveling  instrument  used  by  Judge  Geddes 
in  surveying  the  Erie  Canal  was  the  same  one  used 
by  Abraham  Hardcnburgh,  under  the  superintend- 
ence of  William  Weston,  the  celebrated  English 
engineer,  when  he  surveyed  the  route  of  the  "  Old 
Canal  "in  1788  It  was  made  by  David  Ritten- 
house,  of  rhiladclphia,  and  is  now  in  the  possession 
of  Hon.  George  Geddes,  of  Camillus. 

One  circumstance  which    greatly  facilitated  the 
successful  completion  of  the   Erie  Canal  was  the 
discovery,  at  an  opportune  moment,  in  this  locality, 
of  water   lime,   or  American    Hydraulic   Cement. 
The  first  works  of  masonry  on  the  canal  had  been 
done  with  common  quicklime,  which  proved  unsub- 
stantial on  exposure  to  water,  and  was,  therefore, 
unsuitable    for  culverts  and  aqueducts.      A    kiln 
sup|)osed  to  be  of  common  limestone  was  burnt  and 
some  of  the  lime  delivered  to  the  contractors  on 
the  middle  division  of  the  canal.     To  their  astonish- 
ment, they  found  on  experiment,  that  it  would  not 
slake  like  ordinary  quicklime      This  led  to  an  in- 
vestigation which  resulted  in  the  discovery  of  the 
hydraulic  properties  of  the  lime,  now  so  famous  as 
an   article   of  export   from  this   county.      To  Mr. 
Canvass  White,  who  spent  much  time  and  means 
in  testing  its  qualities,  is  due  the  merit  of  bringing 
this  valuable  cement  into  general  use.     After  1819, 
all  the  mason  work  on  the  canal  was  laid  in  water 
lime. 

It  may  be  well  to  record  the  fact  that  Mr.  Obediah 
Parker,  who  resided  on  the  old  flat  of  Lodi,  now  in 
the  Eighth  Ward  of  Syracuse,  received  a  gold 
medal  from  the  American  Institute  for  the  applica- 


tion of  water  lime  to  the  construction  of  cisterns 
about  the  year  1830. 

CHAPTER   X. 

Okganizatios  of  Colkts — First  Court  of  Com- 
mon Pleas — Courts  Undf.r  Herkimer  Cou.ntv 
Jurisdiction — First  Judges  and  Officers- 
First  Grand  and  Petit  Jurors — Erection  of 
County  Buildings. 

IN  1794.  after  the  Military  Tract  had  been  set 
ofT  from  Herkimer,  and  organized  into  a  coun- 
ty by  itself.  Courts  of  Common  Pleas  and  of  General 
Sessions  of  the  Peace  were  established  by  law. 
These  courts  were  ordered  to  be  held  alternately  on 
the  first  Mondays  in  May  and  November  in  each 
year,  at  the  house  of  Reuben  Patterson,  in  the  town 
of  Manlius,  and  at  the  house  of  Seth  Phelps,  in  the 
town  of  Scipio,  commencing  with  the  first  named. 
Mr.  Patterson  then  kept  a  tavern  at  Onondaga  Hol- 
low, which  at  that  tmie  was  a  part  of  Manlius. 
These  terms  were  to  be  held  only  for  the  space  of 
one  week. 

While  Onondaga  was  included  in  Herkimer  coun- 
ty, courts  were  held  in  the  church  at  Herkimer 
\'illage  till  other  provisions  were  made  by  the  Legis- 
lature. Col.  Henri  Staring  was  appointed  first 
Judge.  He  was  a  man  of  remarkable  honesty  and 
integrity,  though  of  limited  education.  Many 
amusing  anecdotes  are  told  of  his  manner  of  ad- 
ministering justice  Michael  Myers  was  one  of  his 
associates,  and  filled  many  offices  of  note  while  the 
Military  Tract  was  a  part  of   Herkimer  county. 

In  1793,  one  term  of  the  court  for  Herkimer  was 
directed  to  be  held  at  Whitestown,  at  such  place  as 
the  court  should  direct.  The  first  court  held  under 
this  provision  was  in  the  late  Judge  Sanger's  barn, 
Judge  Staring  presiding,  assisted  by  Judge  White. 
The  late  Judge  Piatt  was  then  Clerk  of  Herkimer 
County,  and  the  ShcrifT.  Col.  William  Colbraith.  the 
first  SherilT  who  ever  served  a  process  in  the  Mili- 
tary Tract.  He  was  a  jolly,  good  humored  man, 
and  withal  a  lover  of  fun.  He  had  seen  some  ser- 
vice in  the  Revolution,  but  had  acquired  his  title  as 
a  militia  officer  subsequent  to  that  war. 

Before  a  Court  House  was  erected  in  Onondaga 
County,  civil  and  criminal  prisoners  were  ordered 
to  be  confined  in  the  jail  of  Herkimer  County  until 
a  jail  could  be  provided  in  the  County  of  Onondaga. 

The  first  court  held  in  the  County  under  the  or- 
ganization was  in  General  Danforth's  corn  house, 
first  Monday  in  May,  1794.  Present,  Seth  Phelps, 
first  Judge;  John  Richardson,  Silas  Halsey  and 
William    Stevens,   Judges.     Moses  De  Witt,  Esq.. 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


41 


was  appointed  Judge  of  Onondaga  Common  Pleas  ; 
not  present.  Thomas  R.  Gould  and  Arthur  Breeze 
were  the  only  lawyers  then  present,  not  one  at  that 
time  having  established  himself  in  the  County. 

The  first  Court  of  Oyer  and  Terminer  for  the 
County  of  Onondaga,  was  held  at  the  house  of  Asa 
Danforth,  Esq.,  (afterwards  Reuben  Patterson's,)  on 
the  2 1st  of  July,  1794.  Present,  Hon.  Egbert 
Benson,  one  of  the  Judges  of  the  Supreme  Court  of 
Judicature  for  the  State  of  New  York,  assisted 
by  Seth  Phelps  and  Andrew  Englis,  Justices 
of  Oyer  and  Terminer  and  General  Jail  Delivery 
for  the  County  of  Onondaga.  Lawyers  were  in  at- 
tendance at  this  court  from  Whitestown  and  Her- 
kimer. The  grand  jurors  were  as  follows  :  Comfort 
Tyler,  Isaac  Van  Vleck,  Elias  Fitch,  Moses  Carpen- 
ter, William  Ward,  Jonathan  Wilkinson,  Cyrus 
Kinne,  Sieur  Curtis,  Victory  S.  Tousley,  Amos 
Stanton,  Henry  Moore,  James  Geddes,  Ryal  Bing- 
ham, Reuben  Patterson.  "  Judge  Benson  made  an 
eloquent  charge  to  the  Grand  Jury."  The  only  bill 
of  indictment  found  was  against  James  Fitzgerald 
for  assault  and  battery  with  intent  to  rob  Andrew 
McCarthy.  The  Petit  Jurors  on  this  first  criminal 
trial  were :  John  Brown,  William  Linsley,  Thomas 
Morgan,  Henry  Watkins,  Benjamin  De  Puy,  Nehe- 
miah  Smith,  Isaac  Strong,  John  A.  Thompson, 
Noah  Olmsted,  Isaac  Bailey,  William  Stevens,  and 
Thomas  Ozman,  who  found  the  prisoner  guilty. 
He  was  sentenced  by  the  Court  to  two  months'  im- 
prisonment in  the  Herkimer  jail.  The  Court  fined 
nineteen  petit  jurors  twenty  shillings  each,  four  grand 
jurors  and  two  constables  each  the  same  sum.  John 
Stowell,  William  Goodwin,  Perry  Brownell,  justices 
of  the  peace,  were  each  fined  thirty  shillings  for  ab- 
sence. 

The  next  term  of  the  Circuit  Court  was  held  at 
the  house  of  Seth  Phelps  in  Scipio,  7th  September, 
1795.  Present  Hon.  John  Lansing,  Judge  of  the 
Supreme  Court,  Seth  Phelps,  John  Richardson,  W' il- 
liam  Stevens,  Judges  of  Onondaga  County  Common 
Pleas.  The  following  absent  justices  of  the  peace 
were  severally  fined  thirty  shillings  :  John  A. 
Sheaffer,  William  Goodwin,  John  Stowell,  Cyrus 
Kinne,  Hezekiah  Olcott,  Daniel  Keeler,  Ryal  Bing- 
ham and  Ozias  Burr.  John  A.  Sheaffer  was  indicted 
for  forgery.  He  forfeited  his  recognizance,  and  left, 
(estreated.)*  ! 

Hon.  Egbert  Benson  held  the  ne.xt  Circuit  Court     ! 
at  the  house  of  Reuben  Patterson,  June  14,  1797, 
assisted  by  Seth  Phelps,  William  Stevens,  Asa  Dan- 
forth  and    Comfort  Tyler,  judges  and  justices  of 
Oyer  and  Terminer  for  the  County  of  Onondaga.     ! 

*  Clark.  1 

6* 


Grand  Jury :  Ozias  Burr,  foreman  ;  James  Geddes, 
Ephraim  Webster,  Bethel  Cole,  Robert  Earll,  John 
Curtiss,  Joseph  Leonard,  Levi  Jerome,  David  Green, 
John  Lamb,  William  Rice,  Jonathan  Coe,  Joseph 
Cody,  Peter  Lawrence,  William  Cobb,  Irad  Smith. 
No  bills  of  indictment  found  at  this  term. 

Hon.  James  Kent,  judge,  held  the  next  Circuit 
at  the  house  of  Seth  Phelps,  Scipio,  June  12,  1798, 
assisted  by  Seth  Phelps,  William  Stevens,  Seth 
Sherwood,  judges  of  Common  Pleas  for  Onondaga 
County. 

Cayuga  County  was  set  off  in  1799.  The  first 
Court  in  Onondaga  after  this  was  held  at  the  house 
of  Reuben  Patterson,  June,  1799.  Present,  William 
Stevens,  first  judge,  assisted  by  Elijah  Rust,  James 
Geddes,  Orris  Curtiss,  James  Keep  and  Jeremiah 
Gould,  associates. 

Courts  were  held  at  different  houses  in  Onondaga 
Hollow,  viz  :  Asa  Danforth's,  Reuben  Patterson's, 
Samuel  Tyler's  and  John  Adams' — from  1794  to 
1805,  when  the  Court  House  at  Onondaga  Hill  was 
so  far  completed  as  to  allow  of  the  Courts  being  held 
therewith  the  legislative  provision  for  adjourning  to 
any  other  house,  if  the  weather  was  so  inclement  as 
to  render  it  uncomfortable  at  the  Court  House. 

In  1 801,  Elihu  Lewis,  Jabez  Webb  and  Thaddeus 
M.  Wood  were  appointed  Commissioners  for  the 
purpose  of  erecting  a  Court  House  and  Jail  for  the 
county  of  Onondaga.  It  was  determined  by  vote  to 
locate  them  at  Onondaga  West  Hill.  The  Com- 
missioners commenced  by  contracting  with  William 
Bostwick  of  Auburn  to  put  up  the  frame  and  en- 
close the  house.  This  was  done  in  1802,  and  closed 
Mr.  Bostwick's  contract.  Previous  to  raising  the 
house  the  people  of  the  Hill  collected  together  and 
made  a  "  bee  "  for  the  purpose  of  cutting  away  the 
trees  to  make  room  for  the  new  building.  The 
square  was  at  that  time  covered  with  a  heavy  growth 
of  timber.  In  order  to  have  the  use  of  the  Court 
House,  a  temporary  floor  and  seats  were  put  in  it 
and  the  courts  held  there  till  the  commencement  of 
1804.  The  county  then  began  to  feel  able  to  finish 
the  court  room  and  jailor's  dwelling.  The  Com- 
missioners contracted  with  Mr.  Abel  House  to  do 
the  carpenter  work  inside,  leaving  out  the  cells,  and 
with  a  Mr.  Sexton,  of  New  Hartford,  to  do  the 
mason  work;  and  Mr.  Ephraim  Webster  was  to 
furnish  the  brick  for  the  chimneys.  The  court 
room  and  dwelling  were  completed  during  that  sea- 
son. After  a  year  or  two,  preparations  were  com- 
menced for  building  the  cells  of  the  jail.  A  con- 
tract was  made  with  Roswell  and  Sylvanus  Tousley, 
of  Manlius,  for  the  iron  work,  at  a  price  of  two  shil- 
lino-s  per  pound.     The  cells  were  finished  in  18 10. 


42 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


In  1804  the  county  of  Oneida  had  completed  a 
jail  in  the  town  of  Whitcsboro,  to  which  the 
criminals  of  this  county  were  transferred  till  the 
Onondaga  county  jail  was  finished,  the  Legislature 
having  previously  passed  an  act  granting  this 
county  the  right  to  use  the  nearest  jail. 

The  jail  at  Onondaga  Hill  was  a  wooden  building 
fifty  feet  square,  two  stories  high,  with  a  square 
roof  pitching  four  ways  to  the  eaves.  It  was  not 
at  first  painted  ;  this  finishing  touch  was  done  by 
subscription,  some  years  afterwards,  by  the  people 
of  Onondaga  Hill.  The  first  story  was  appropri- 
ated for  the  jail  and  dwelling  of  the  jailor,  a  hall 
separating  them  from  each  other.  The  cells  were 
constructed  of  heavy  oak  jtlank,  fastened  together 
with  wrought  iron  spikes.  The  doors  were  made 
of  like  material,  having  a  rhomboidal  aperture  in 
the  center  through  which  to  pass  the  food,  and  to 
give  light  to  the  prisoners.  In  the  rear  of  the  cells 
were  grated  windows. 

The  court  room  was  reached  by  a  stairway  lead- 
ing from  the  hall.  The  judge's  bench  was  directly 
in  front  of  the  entrance  to  the  court  room  and  was 
constructed  in  a  circular  form.  The  whole  cost  of 
the  building  was  Sio,ooo.  This  court  house  and 
jail  were  used  for  the  purpose  designed  till  the 
year  iS.!9  The  first  jailor  was  James  Beebc,  a 
revolutionary  soldier,  and  father  of  Mrs.  Victory 
Birdseye,  of  Pompcy.  His  successor  was  Mason 
Butts,  father  of  Horace  Butts,  who  was  jailor  after 
the  removal  of  the  county  buildings  to  Syracuse. 
John  H.  Johnson,  Esq.,  also  acted  as  jailor  there  for 
several  years. 

In  1825,  movements  began  to  be  made  for  the 
removal  of  the  county  buildings  to  Syracuse,  which 
had  grown  to  be  the  largest  village  in  the  county. 
The  people  of  Onondaga  Hill  strongly  opposed  the 
measure,  and  in  1825  succeeded  in  getting  a  bill 
through  the  Legislature  for  the  retention  of  the 
buildings  at  that  place.  The  bill,  however,  was 
vetoed  by  Governor  Clinton,  but  the  project  did  not 
sleep.  In  1827  a  law  was  enacted  authorizing  the 
Board  of  Supervisors  to  erect  a  Court  House  and 
Jail  within  the  corporate  limits  of  Syracuse.  In 
the  summer  of  1828,  the  Supervisors  met,  in  pur- 
suance of  law,  at  the  Syracuse  House  to  take  into 
consideration  the  selection  of  a  site  for  the  proposed 
buildings,  and  to  make  the  necessary  arrangements 
for  their  erection.  At  the  meeting  there  was  a  great 
deal  of  discussion  and  a  wide  difference  of  opinion 
relative  to  the  site  of  the  buildings.  This  was 
finally  settled  by  taking  a  vote,  which  resulted  in 
placing  the  county  seat  midway  between  the  vil- 
lages of  Syracuse  and  Salina,  in  consideration  of 


the  village  of  Salina  presenting  to  the  county  a 
full  and  unincumbered  title  to  the  property,  consist- 
ing of  not  less  than  three  acres,  and  $1,000.  At 
this  meeting  the  Building  Commissioners  were  ap- 
pointed :  John  Smith,  Thomas  Starr  and  Samuel 
Forman  ;  with  power  to  cause  plans  and  specifica- 
tions to  be  made  and  to  contract  for  the  erection  of 
the  buildings.  The  County  Treasurer  was  also  em- 
powered to  borrow  $20,000,  in  two  annual  install- 
ments of  $10,000  each.  In  the  spring  of  1829,  the 
bids  were  received,  according  to  the  plans  and 
specifications  of  the  Commissioners.  Mr.  John 
Wall  obtained  the  contract  for  building  the  Jail, 
which  was  erected  by  him  early  in  the  year  1S29. 
The  cells  in  this  Jail  were  of  the  strongest  kind. 
After  it  was  taken  down,  they  were  placed  in  the 
basement  of  the  new  Court  House  on  Clinton 
Square.  L.  A.  Cheney  and  Samuel  Booth  ob- 
tained the  contract  for  doing  the  mason  work  on 
the  Court  House,  and  David  Stafford  for  doing  the 
carpenter  work.  It  was  erected  and  enclosed  in 
1829.  The  following  year  it  was  finished  by  Mr. 
Wall  and  ready  for  occupation  by  the  courts.  The 
cost  of  the  buildings  was  upwards  of  $27,000. 

The  Jail  was  of  stone,  fifty  feet  square  and  two 
stories  high,  with  a  hall  and  stairway  in  the  center. 
The  south  half  contained  the  jailor's  dwelling,  the 
north  half  the  cells  for  prisoners,  the  second  story 
above  these  being  devoted  to  cells  for  debtors, 
witnesses,  &c.  The  Court  House  was  of  brick, 
si.xty  feet  square  and  two  stories  high,  fronted  on 
the  west  side  with  a  row  of  large  columns.  The 
first  story  was  divided  by  halls  into  four  apart- 
ments, one  in  each  corner,  for  the  use  of  grand  and 
petit  juries  and  other  purposes.  The  Court  Room 
occupied  all  of  the  second  story,  except  the  landing 
of  the  stairs  and  two  petit  jury  rooms.  The  Judge's 
seat  was  on  the  south  side  opposite  the  landing  of 
the  stairway. 

The  Jail  was  abandoned  in  1850,  after  the  erec- 
tion of  the  I'cnitentiary,  and  the  removal  of  the 
jail  prisoners  to  that  institution.  The  materials 
were  used  in  the  construction  of  the  work-shops  of 
the  Penitentiary  and  in  the  new  Court  House. 

New  Coi;rt  House. — Attempts  were  made 
from  time  to  time  to  change  the  site  of  the  Court 
House,  but  they  all  failed  until  after  the  destruction 
of  the  old  building  by  fire,  on  the  morning  of  the 
5th  of  January,  1856.  The  expectation  that  was 
entertained  when  the  site  between  the  two  villages 
was  selected,  that  business  would  naturally  center 
around  the  Court  House,  was  never  realized,  and 
hence  it  was  not  accessible  to  the  public.  The  in- 
]     convenience,   however,   was    submitted    to    about 


COUffT    HOUSE,  SYRACUSE, Onond/ 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


43 


twenty  years,  before  any  serious  attempt  was  made 
to  change  the  site.  General  Granger  submitted  a 
proposition  to  the  Board  of  Supervisors  to  the 
effect  that  he  would  build  a  good  court  house  on 
any  lot  in  the  heart  of  the  city  that  might 
be  designated,  in  consideration  of  the  con- 
veyance to  him  of  the  old  Court  House  site  and 
^20,000  in  cash.  But  his  offer  received  little  favor 
at  the  hands  of  the  Board.  During  the  session  of 
the  Board  in  1853,  the  subject  was  again  introduced 
by  Hon.  Sanford  C.  Parker,  Supervisor  from  Van 
Buren,  who  proposed  a  resolution  that  the  county 
should  unite  with  the  city  in  the  erection  of  an 
edifice  of  sufficient  dimensions  for  a  Court  House, 
Clerk's  Offices,  City  Hall,  &c.  But  the  subject  was 
not  further  considered  till  the  meeting  of  the  Board 
in  December,  1855,  at  which  time  Mr.  Midler,  Super- 
visor from  DeW'itt,  moved  a  resolution  to  instruct 
the  "  Committee  on  Court  House  and  Clerk's  Office 
to  examine  and  report  to  this  Board  the  expense  of 
building  a  new  Court  House,  and  what  the  premises 
where  the  old  one  stands  will  sell  for."  This  reso- 
lution was  adopted  without  objection.  The  com- 
mittee, consisting  of  T.  C.  Cheney,  E.  A.  Williams, 
and  Joel  Fuller,  proceeded  to  discharge  the  duties 
imposed  upon  them  by  the  Board,  and  on  the  7th  of 
December  submitted  their  report,  recommending 
the  appointment  of  a  committee  of  three  to  exam- 
ine and  report  upon  a  suitable  site  for  a  new  Court 
House,  and  plans  and  estimates  for  its  erection. 
This  report  was  laid  on  the  table  till  the  14th  of 
December,  when  it  was  adopted  by  a  vote  of  fifteen 
to  nine  of  the  Board  of  Supervisors,  and  the  follow- 
ing committee  appointed :  T.  C.  Cheney,  Luke 
Wells  and  D.  T.  Moseley.  Mr.  Wells  subsequently 
declined  to  serve,  and  Mr.  Patten,  of  Salina,  was 
substituted  in  his  place.  This  committee  was 
■divided,  making  a  majority  and  a  minority  report ; 
the  latter  by  Mr.  Moseley,  against  a  change  of  loca- 
tion, being  adopted  by  the  Board.  Thus  the  matter 
stood,  when  the  burning  of  the  old  Court  House  on 
the  5th  of  February,  set  the  question  of  a  new  build- 
ing at  rest.  The  Board  was  called  together  on  the 
13th  of  February,  and  a  committee  consisting  of 
T.  C.  Cheney,  George  Stevens  and  William  F.  Gere 
was  appointed  to  report  at  the  next  meeting.  The 
Board  met  again  on  the  14th  of  April,  when  a  ma- 
jority of  the  committee — Messrs.  Stevens  and 
Cheney  —  reported  in  favor  of  changing  the  Court 
House  site  and  the  erection  of  a  new  building.  Mr. 
Gere  was  in  favor  of  the  old  site,  and  was  sustained 
by  the  Board  upon  the  vote  being  taken.  On  the 
following  day  the  Board  adopted  a  resolution  offered 
by  Mr.  Chapman,  of  Onondaga,  "  that  if  an  equal 


exchange  (with  Colonel  Voorhees,)  of  the  present 
Court  House  site  for  the  lot  on  Clinton  Square 
can  be  effected,  this  Board  will  order  the  exchange." 
Upon  motion  of  Mr.  Barrows,  T.  C.  Cheney,  Elizur 
Clark  and  Bradley  Carey  were  appointed  a  commit- 
tee "  to  prepare  plans,  specifications  and  estimates 
for  a  Court  House,  and  report  at  a  future  meet- 
ing." At  a  meeting  of  the  Board  on  the  28th  of 
April,  the  committee  submitted  their  report,  show- 
ing that  they  had  made  favorable  terms  with  Col- 
onel Voorhees  for  the  exchange  of  lots,  and  recom- 
mending a  plan  previously  submitted  to  the  Board, 
drawn  by  Mr.  H.  N.  White,  architect,  of  this 
city.  They  estimated  the  cost  of  the  building,  on 
the  plan  proposed,  at  §38,000,  including  old  mate- 
rial. In  preference  to  brick,  they  recommended 
Onondaga  limestone,  as  "  most  appropriate  and 
much  more  durable."  This  report  was  signed  by 
the  entire  committee  and  favorably  received  by  the 
members  of  the  Board.  The  question  of  changing 
the  site  was  then  submitted  in  a  resolution  offered 
by  Mr.  Palmer,  which  was  carried  almost  unani- 
mously, only  one  member  voting  in  the  negative. 
The  plan  of  the  building  presented  by  the  commit- 
tee was  then  adopted,  and  Messrs.  Slocum,  Johnson 
and  District  Attorney  Andrews,  directed  to  execute 
papers  for  an  exchange  of  sites  with  Col.  Voorhees. 
The  next  day  Timothy  C.  Chene}',  Luke  Wells  and 
D.  C.  Greenfield,  were  appointed  a  committee  to 
superintend  the  erection  of  the  building  ;  and  Hora- 
tio X.  \\'hite,  architect.  At  a  subsequent  meeting 
of  the  Board  in  June,  the  proposals  for  the  erection 
of  the  building,  advertised  for  by  the  commission- 
ers, were  opened,  and  the  contract  awarded  to 
Messrs.  Cheney  and  W'ilcox  at  $37,750,  the  con- 
tractors to  have  the  material  of  the  old  court  house 
and  jail.  Mr.  Cheney  thereupon  resigned  his  place 
as  Commissioner,  and  Elizur  Clark  was  appointed 
to  fill  the  vacancy.  The  cut  stone  work  of  the 
building  was  let  by  the  contractors  to  Messrs. 
Spaulding  &  Pollock,  the  carpenter  and  joiner  work 
to  Messrs.  Coburn  &  Hurst,  and  the  iron  work  to 
Messrs,  Featherly,  Draper  &  Cole.  The  building 
was  finished  and  occupied  in  1857.  It  is  a  beauti- 
ful and  substantial  structure  of  Onondaga  grey  lime- 
stone, a  credit  to  the  county  and  an  ornament  to  the 
city. 

The  County  Clerk's  Office,  a  fire  proof  brick 
building,  on  North  Salina  street,  corner  of  Church, 
was  erected  by  the  County  in  1814.  It  contains 
rooms  for  the  Surrogate,  Supervisors,  Superin- 
tendent of  the  Poor,  etc.,  together  with  a  large 
collection  of  valuable  documents  and  records  placed 
therein  on  file  for  preservation. 


44 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


CHAPTER  XI. 

The  Salt  Springs— History  of  their  Dis- 
covery—  Early  Manufacture  of  Salt  — 
State  Legislation  on  the  Subject — The 
Salt  Springs  Reservation— Methods  and 
Statistics  of  the  Salt  Works — Analysis  of 
THE  Water  and  Source  of  its  Supply. 

The  existence  of  salt  springs  at  Lake  Ganentaha, 
or  Onondaga,  was  known  to  the  Indians  before  the 
advent  of  the  first  Europeans,  but  it  does  not  ap- 
pear that  they  knew  the  use  of  them  till  taught  by 
the  Jesuit  Missionary,  Father  Le  Moyne,  in  1654. 
An  allusion  is  made  to  the  springs,  or  "  salt  foun- 
tains," by  Father  Jerome  Lallamant,  who  visited 
the  Onondagas  in  1645,  and  who  says  :  "  The  On- 
ondagas  have  a  very  beautiful  lake  called  Ganentaha, 
on  the  shores  of  which  are  several  salt  springs,  the 
borders  of  which  are  always  covered  with  very  fine 
salt."  Father  Le  Moyne,  in  an  account  \of  his 
return  to  Quebec,  under  date  of  August  16,  1654, 
says :  "  We  arrived  at  the  entrance  of  a  small 
lake  ;  in  a  large  half-dried  basin  we  tasted  the 
water  of  a  spring  of  which  the  savages  dare  not 
drink,  saying  there  is  a  demon  in  it  which  renders 
it  foul.  We  found  it  to  be  a  fountain  of  salt  water 
from  which  we  made  salt  as  natural  as  from  the  sea, 
a  sample  of  which  I  shall  take  with  me  to  Quebec." 

This  act  of  Father  Le  Moyne's  exorcised  the 
demon,  to  whose  dominion  the  superstition  of  the 
natives  had  given  over  the  salt  springs,  and  thence- 
forth Onondaga  salt  came  into  use  among  the 
Indians  of  this  region  of  country.  Says  Clark  : 
"  In  1770,  Onondaga  salt  was  in  common  use  among 
the  Delaware  Indians,  and  by  that  time  traders  were 
in  the  habit  of  bringing  small  quantities  to  Albany 
along  with  their  furs  as  a  curiosity."  At  this  period  it 
was  to  be  found  in  the  huts  of  the  Indians,  the 
women  manufacturing  it  and  sending  it  to  (.Quebec 
for  sale.* 

Some  years  before  this  Sir  WilHam  Johnson  had 
obtained  a  conveyance  from  the  Indians  of  a  tract 
of  land  one  mile  in  width  adjoining  and  including 
the  entire  "  salt  lake."  On  account  of  the  loyalty 
of  Sir  William  and  his  son,  Sir  John  Johnson,  to 
the  English,  this  and  his  princely  estate  on  the  Mo- 
hawk were  forfeited  during  the  Revolutionary  period. 
It  was  not  until  several  years  after  the  Revolution 
that  the  fame  of  these  salt  springs  began  to  attract 
settlers,  and  that  attempts  were  made  by  Americans 
to  develop  and  utilize  their  resources. 

Comfort  Tyler  was  the  pioneer  in  this  enterprise, 
which  has  since  assumed  proportions  of  such  im- 

*  Letter  of  Judge  Bowker,  quoted  by  Hon.  George  Geddes. 


mense  magnitude.  In  1788,  he  was  shown  the 
spring  by  the  Indians,  and  in  May  of  that  year 
made  in  about  nine  hours  thirteen  bushels  of  salt. 
His  account  of  his  first  visit  to  the  springs  is  given 
as  follows  :  "  The  family  wanting  salt,  obtained 
about  a  pound  from  the  Indians,  which  they  had 
made  from  the  springs  on  the  shores  of  the  lake. 
They  oflTered  to  discover  the  water  to  us.  Accord- 
ingly I  went  w^ith  an  Indian  guide  to  the  lake, 
taking  along  an  iron  kettle  of  fifteen  gallons  capaci- 
ty, which  he  placed  in  his  canoe,  and  started  out  of 
the  mouth  of  Onondaga  Creek,  easterly  into  a  pass 
called  Mud  Creek.  After  passing  over  the  marsh> . 
then  overflowed  by  about  three  feet  of  water,  and  ' 
steering  towards  the  bluff  of  hard  land,  since  the 
village  of  Salina,  he  fastened  his  canoe,  pointed  to 
a  hole  apparently  artificial,  and  said  there  was  the 
salt." 

Thus  was  Mr.  Tyler  introduced  to  the  salt  springs. 
The  same  season  he  was  joined  by  Major  Asa 
Danforth,  who  carried  a  large  iron  kettle  on  his  head 
from  Onondaga  Hollow  to  the  springs  at  Salina, 
and  the  two  together  made  salt,  suspending  the 
kettle  by  a  chain  to  a  pole  supported  by  two  crotched 
stakes  driven  into  the  ground.  When  they  had 
made  a  sufficient  supply,  they  hid  the  chain  and 
kettle  in  the  bushes,  to  keep  them  safely  for  future 
use.  In  this  way  all  the  salt  was  made  which  was 
manufactured  during  the  first  year  at  "  Salt  Point." 
In  1789,  Nathaniel  Loomis  came  by  the  way  of 
Oneida  Lake  and  River  with  a  few  kettles,  and  dur- 
ing the  following  winter  made  from  five  to  six  hun- 
dred bushels  of  salt,  which  sold  for  one  dollar  a 
bushel. 

The  State  acquired  an  ownership  in  the  salt 
springs,  in  common  with  the  Indians,  and  in  the 
tract  of  land  adjoining  them,  known  as  the  Onon- 
daga Salt  Springs  Reservation,  by  the  treaty  of 
Fort  Stanwix,  concluded  September  12,  1788.  This 
treaty  stipulated  that  the  salt  lake  and  the  lands  for 
one  mile  around  the  same,  should  forever  remain 
for  the  common  benefit  of  the  people  of  the  State 
of  New  York  and  of  the  Onondagas  and  their  pos- 
terity, for  the  purpose  of  making  salt.  The  two 
races  thus  became  tenants  in  common  of  the  salt 
springs  property.  The  white  men  at  once  took 
possession  at  Salina  and  commenced  the  manufac- 
ture of  salt. 

In  1794,  Judge  James  Geddes  constructed  a 
"  salt  work "  a  mile  or  more  to  the  southwest  of 
that  point,  or  what  was  properly  the  head  of  the 
lake.  The  Indians  took  exceptions  to  this,  saying 
they  owned  one  half  of  the  water,  and  the  white 
men  the  other  half,  and  as  the  whites  had  taken  pos- 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


45 


session  on  their  side  of  the  lake,  they  should  keep 
away  from  what  they  called  the  Indian's  side.  This 
grew  into  a  difficulty  threatening  an  attack  on  the 
part  of  the  Indians.  Judge  Goddes  had  proceeded 
too  far  with  his  work  to  be  willing  to  give  it  up  as 
a  peace  ofiering,  to  conciliate  the  wrath  of  his  red 
neighbors.  Presents  were  ofiered  and  conciliatory 
speeches  made  to  them,  to  induce  them  to  surren- 
der peaceably,  but  all  seemed  unavailing.  The  In- 
dians desired  the  presents,  but  at  the  same  time  felt 
unwilling  to  compromise  what  they  considered  their 
right  to  the  side  of  the  lake  which  the  Judge  had 
occupied.  Finally,  a  happy  method  of  solving  the 
problem  struck  one  of  the  chiefs :  "  Let  us,"  said 
he,  "  adopt  this  pale  face  into  our  tribe,  and  then 
being  one  of  us,  he  will  have  a  right  to  make  salt 
on  our  side  of  the  lake."  The  proposition  was 
unanimously  adopted,  and  Judge  Geddes  had  the 
name  Don-da-dah-gwah  conferred  upon  him,  by 
which  the  Indians  ever  after  addressed  him.  Thence- 
forth he  made  his  salt  in  peace.* 

In  1795,  the  Indians  not  being  satisfied  with  the 
arrangement  whereby  they  held  a  common  interest 
in  the  Reservation,  entered  into  another  treaty  at 
Cayuga  Ferry,  in  which  they  ceded  their  right  ab- 
solutely to  the  sovereignty  of  the  State  of  New 
York.  This  treaty  was  the  foundation  of  the  Con- 
stitutional prohibition  against  the  sale  of  the  Salt 
Springs,  because  it  was  regarded  as  a  particular  bar- 
gain and  agreement  on  the  part  of  the  State  of  New 
York  to  so  exercise  its  power  over  them  as  never  to 
depart  from  its  rights  and  interest  in  them,  and  to 
use  them  for  the  benefit  of  the  entire  people  of  the 
State. 

The  bargain  was  consummated  by  giving  the 
Indians  S  1,000  in  money,  an  annuity  of  S700,  and 
150  bushels  of  salt  annually. 

The  Salt  Springs  Reservation,  as  delineated  on 
the  map,  is  about  three  and  a  half  miles  wide  at  the 
extreme  south  end,  about  three-quarters  of  a  mile 
at  the  north  end,  including  the  lake  within  its 
boundaries,  and  containing  about  ten  square  miles. 
It  takes  in  the  city  of  Syracuse,  the  town  of  Geddes 
and  the  town  of  Salina,  with  the  e.xception  of  nine 
and  a  half  lots  added  to  the  town  of  Salina  from 
the  town  of  Manlius. 

The  State  took  formal  possession  of  it  in  1797, 
sending  a  surveyor  to  run  out  a  portion  of  it  into 
lots,  and  placing  it  under  a  superintendent.  William 
Stevens  was  appointed  the  first  Superintendent, 
June  20,  1797,  and  held  the  office  till  his  death,  in 
the  year  1801.  The  surveyor  laid  out  the  reserva- 
tion into  marsh  lots,  pasture  lots,  salt  lots,  dwelling 

*  Hon.  Otorgc  Gcddet,  Report,  1859. 


lots  and  store  lots.  The  State  fixed  the  duty  on 
salt  at  four  cents  a  bushel,  and  for  this  tax  gave,  in 
the  first  place,  a  large  lot  running  down  close  to  the 
springs,  for  the  purpose  of  putting  the  salt  works 
thereon,  and  running  up  to  the  brow  of  the  hill, 
with  a  frontage  upon  the  bluff  sufficient  for  a  dwell- 
ing house  and  store.  And  to  each  owner  it  gave  a 
fourteen  acre  marsh  lot  and  a  five  acre  pasture  lot, 
under  a  lease  for  seven  years,  and  a  right  to  roam 
anywhere  over  the  entire  ten  square  miles  for  fuel, 
without  any  cost  to  themselves  save  cutting  and 
hauling,  for  the  manufacture  of  salt,  or  for  any  other 
purpose  for  which  fuel  or  timber  was  desired. 

In  addition  thereto  the  State  built  a  sort  of  wharf 
down  on  a  little  creek  that  comes  into  the  lake,  for 
the  batteaux  that  should  engage  in  the  distribution 
of  the  salt  to  Oswego  and  other  places.  The  State, 
also,  in  order  to  avoid  the  necessity  of  large  works, 
which  would  be  required  by  individuals  to  store  salt 
in,  while  waiting  for  its  sale,  erected  storehouses  and 
stored  the  salt  in  them.  All  this  was  the  equiva- 
lent which  the  State  gave  the  manufacturers  for  the 
four  cents  charge  of  duties.* 

The  Salt  Springs  Reservation,  we  have  said,  in- 
cluded the  city  of  Syracuse  and  the  towns  of  Ged- 
des and  Salina.  The  amount  of  lands  sold  by  the 
State  out  of  this  Reservation  up  to  and  including 
1846,  was  over  $250,000  worth,  the  State  reserving 
a  royalty  on  the  salt  water.  In  outlying  lands 
which  would  probably  not  be  needed  in  the  manu- 
facture of  salt,  the  State  has  given  the  deeds  reserv- 
ing this  royalty.  In  addition  thereto,  the  State  has 
from  time  to  time,  under  the  Constitution  of  1846, 
which  says  they  shall  not  decrease  the  acreage  which 
has  heretofore  been  devoted  to  the  manufacture  of 
salt,  exchanged  lands  which  were  not  suitable  for 
that  purpose  for  lands  which  were  adapted  thereto, 
and  have  thus  increased  the  acreage  from  550  to 
1. 100  acres.  The  State  at  the  same  time  has  put 
into  the  treasury  between  S40,ooo  and  §50,000,  as 
the  difference  in  value  in  favor  of  the  State  arising 
froiTi  such  exchange  of  lands.t 

In  1S67,  salt  works  were  removed  at  a  large  profit 
to  the  State,  to  make  room  for  the  increasing  popu- 
lation in  the  Third  and  Fifth  Wards  of  Syracuse. 
Also,  by  an  act  of  the  Legislature  in  1873,  salt 
works  were  removed  from  the  Third  Ward  of  the 
city  and  other  lands  substituted  for  them.  These 
lands  are  good  property  ;  a  considerable  portion  of 
them  have  been  sold  by  the  State,  and  should  the 
balance  be  held  till  after  the  present  financial  de- 
pression, the  State  will  no  doubt  realize  a  handsome 
profit  on  them.     The  Syracuse  Solar  Salt  Company 


*  Addren  of  Hon.  Thomai  G.  Alrord,  1876. 


tIbU. 


46 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


and  the  late  Onondaga  Salt  Company,  in  1872,  dis- 
posed of  forty  acres  of  vats  to  the  State,  situated  on 
State  lands  in  the  Third  Ward  of  Syracuse,  in  ex- 
change for  lands  under  the  hill,  to  which  they  re- 
moved their  works.  They  arc  holding  about  forty 
acres  outside,  granted  them  by  the  State,  so  that  as 
the  city  encroaches  ufjon  their  private  land  imme- 
diately under  the  hill,  where  their  vats  arc  now  situ- 
ated, they  can  eventually  remove  them  to  the  lands 
held  under  the  State  grant. 

To  return  to  our  history  of  the  manufacture  of 
salt.  In  1792,  Thomas  Orman,  Simeon  I'haris  and 
William  Gilchrist  came  to  Salina.  Mr.  Orman 
brought  the  first  caldron  kettle  for  the  manufac- 
ture of  salt.  Mr.  Aaron  Bellows  came  that  year  and 
established  a  cooper  shop  for  the  manufacture  of 
salt  barrels.  The  first  kettles  set  in  arches  were 
used  by  Jeremiah  Gould  and  William  Van  Vleck. 
The  latter  in  company  with  Moses  Dc Witt,  in  1793, 
erected  an  arch  with  four  kettles,  and  supplied  the 
demand  for  the  whole  surrounding  country. 

The  "  Federal  Company  "  was  formed  in  1798,  its 
members  being    Asa    Danforth,   Jedediah   Sanger, 
Daniel    Kcclcr,   Thomas    Hart,    Ebcnezer    Butler, 
Eli-sha  Alvord  and  1  lezekiah  Olcott.    This  company 
erected  a  large  building  capable  of  containing  thirty- 
two  kettles  set  in  blocks  of  four  each.    In  this  man- 
ner originated   the  term  "  block  "  which  has  ever 
since  been  applied  to  a  salt  manufactory  where  the 
water    is  boiled  in  kettles.     Part  of  the  "  Federal 
Works"    were    subsequently    hired    by    Dioclesian 
Alvord.    The  pump-house  was  then  out  in  the  water, 
and  Mr.  Alvord  had  to  take  a  boat  in  order  to  reach  it. 
The  first  laws  regulating  the  manufacture  of  salt 
were  passed  in  1797,  the  State  then  assuming  the 
control  which  it  has  never  relinquished.    The  State 
demanded  for  the  rent  of  land  and  the  use  of  water, 
four  cents  a  bushel  for  all  the  salt  made,  and   re- 
quired that  ten  bushels,  at  least,  should  be  made  in 
every  kettle  or  pan  used.     Provision  was  made  that 
in  case  any  lessee  should  not  use  all  the  water  there 
might  be  on  his  lot,  the  surplus  could  be  conveyed 
to  his  next  neighbor,  and  so  on,  till  all  the  water  was 
used.     The  powers  given    to   the   Superintendent 
were  full,  and  the  law  entered  into  minute  details  in 
regard  to  the  whole  business  of  making  and  packing 
salt.     The  maximum  price  was  fixed  at  six  cents  a 
bushel  to  citizens  of  the  State,  and  the  manufacturer 
must  either  put  the  salt  in  the  public  storehouse,  or 
if  he  kept  it  in  his  own  building,  he  must  surrender 
the  keys  to  the  Superintendent.     No  salt  could  be 
sold  on  the  leased  premises.     One  cent  per  bushel 
was  exacted  by  the  State  for  storage,  and  the  Super- 
intendent was  to  take  care  to  have  always  in  store 


two  thousand  bushels  the  first  year,  and  an  addi- 
tional five  hundred  for  each  year  thereafter,  which 
was  to  be  ready  to  meet  the  demands  of  citizens  of 
this  Slate.  Theblock-house,  which  in  1794  had  been 
constructed  for  defense,  was  converted  by  the  State 
into  a  public  store-house.  Clark,  in  his  history, 
says  :  "  The  Superintendent  gave  certificates  of  de- 
posit in  the  store-house,  and  these  certificates  passed 
from  man  to  man  like  bank  bills." 

The  manufacture  of  salt  continued  to  increase  as 
the  surrounding  population  became  more  numerous, 
some  of  it  finding  a  market  in  Canada.  The  rivers 
and  lakes  connected  with  Onondaga  Lake  furnished 
facilities  for  transportation  in  summer,  and  in  the 
winter,  sleighs  came  from  the  counties  to  the  south, 
bringing  farm  produce  to  exchange  for  salt.  The 
time  soon  came  when  the  Superintendent  could  not 
store  all  the  salt  made,  and  so  in  March,  1798,11 
was  provided  by  law  that  the  manufacturers  might 
account  on  oath  for  the  quantity  manufactured  ;  and 
they  were  allowed  to  pay  rent  according  to  the 
capacity  of  their  works,  at  the  rate  of  two  cents  per 
month  for  every  gallon  of  the  capacity  of  their  pans 
or  kettles,  and  were  released  from  the  charge  of 
four  cents  per  bushel.  Fifty  six  pounds  was  fixed 
upon  as  the  weight  of  a  bushel  of  salt. 

In  1799,  another  law  was  passed,  going  more  into 
details,  even  determining  the  number  of  hoops  on 
the  barrels,  the  kind  of  timber  they  should  be  made 
of,  the  seasoning  of  the  barrels,  and  directing  that 
they  must  be  water-tight.  The  Superintendent 
was  to  weigh,  deduct  the  tare,  then  brand  the 
weight  and  quality  and  put  on  the  price  per  bushel 
which  he  judged  the  salt  to  be  worth,  and  then 
brand  the  name  on  the  wood.  This  salt,  if  it  went 
away  by  water,  was  to  be  shipped  from  the  public 
wharf,  under  a  penalty  of  five  dollars  for  every 
bushel  not  so  shipped.  The  Superintendent  was 
required  to  provide  bins  to  keep  each  manufacturer's 
salt  in,  until  it  was  inspected. 

These,  or  the  like  minute  regulations,  continue 
to  govern,  and  when  their  rigor  has  been  lessened, 
it  has  been  due  to  the  fact  that  the  magnitude  of 
the  business  has  made  it  impracticable  to  enforce 
them. 

It  is  worthy  of  note  that  the  almost  absolute 
power  conferred  bylaw  upon  the  Superintendent  of 
the  Salt  Springs,  has  been  the  secret  of  its  success  in 
an  economical  point  of  view,  as  afTording  a  larger 
revenue  to  the  State  than  any  other  State  property, 
managed  on  difterent  principles.  The  jiolicy  of 
conferring  the  whole  authority  on  the  Superintend- 
ent and  making  him  alone  responsible  for  the  entire 
management  of  the  interest,  has  proved  in  the  case 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


47 


of  the  Onondaga  Salt  Springs  exceptionally  suc- 
cessful, as  compared  with  every  other  State  in- 
terest. 

In  1817  the  duties  levied  by  the  State  were 
raised  to  twelve  and  a  half  cents  a  bushel,  the  de- 
sign being  to  apply  the  revenue  thus  derived  to  the 
extinguishment  of  the  debt  on  the  canals.  This 
rate  remained  till  1834,  when  the  duties  were  re- 
duced to  six  cents  a  bushel,  and  so  continued  till 
April  20,  1846,  since  when  they  have  been  one 
cent  a  bushel.  This  was  intended  to  be  sufficient 
to  pay  for  superintendence,  digging  wells,  pumping 
and  conveying  the  water  to  the  manufacturers,  and 
other  expenses  of  the  works  incurred  by  the  State. 
Since  the  reduction  of  the  duties  to  one  cent  a 
bushel,  the  following  revenue  has  been  derived 
from  the  manufacture  of  salt,  and  paid  into  the 
General  Fund  of  the  State  : 

From  1 846  to  i  Z^^,  net  reve- 
nue   $  653,112  73 

Deficit  in  1857,  to  be  de- 
ducted  $6,603  01 

Also  expenditures  previous 

to  March   i,  1857 7,000  00 

Total  deduction  and  expendi- 
tures   13,603  01 

Net  revenue  above  expendi- 
tures     639,509  72 

Revenue  from  1825  to  re- 
duction of  duties  in  1846.  3,402,971  49 

Expenditures  for  the  same 

period 202,054  99 

Net  revenue  from  1825  to  1846 $3,200,916  50 

Total  net  revenue  since  1825 3,540,22622 

In  addition  to  the  above  direct  revenue,  the  salt 
interest  has  paid  to  the  State  in  canal  tolls  about 
three-fourths  of  a  million  dollars.  In  1875,  it  paid 
over  $70,000.  The  manufacture  and  handling  of 
salt  in  various  ways  employs  about  four  thousand 
men. 

The  law  of  1799  required  the  Superintendent  to 
make  an  annual  report  to  the  Legislature.  To  this 
valuable  provision  we  are  indebted  for  much  in- 
formation and  many  of  the  important  improvements 
which  have  been  made  from  time  to  time.  We 
learn  from  one  of  these  reports  that  in  1806,  159,071 
bushels  of  salt  were  made.  About  this  time  a  great 
advance  was  made  by  the  construction  of  a  block 
of  ten  kettles  by  Hon.  John  Richardson.  During 
Mr.  Kirkpatrick's  administration  the  well  at  Salina 
was  dug  out  twenty  feet  square  to  the  depth  of 
thirty  feet.  Each  manufacturer  had  his  own  pump, 
worked  by  hand,  and  water  carried  in  spouts  to  his 
works.  In  1810,  water  power  was  first  used  to  raise 
the  brine,  Yellow  Brook  being  brought  in  a  canal 


to  turn  the  wheel.  This  brook,  through  the  enter- 
prise of  Judge  Forman  and  others,  was  conducted 
all  the  way  from  what  is  now  the  eastern  part  of 
Syracuse,  to  do  service  in  the  salt  blocks  at  Salina. 
In  181 2  a  law  was  passed  requiring  the  Superin- 
tendent to  lay  out  two  acres  of  land  and  lease  the 
same,  free  of  duty  if  he  thought  proper,  to  induce 
an  experiment  to  be  tried  for  the  production  of  salt 
by  solar  evaporation.  This  was  the  origin  of  a 
mode  of  manufacture  which  has  since  become 
general,  and  has  exercised  an  important  influence 
on  the  entire  salt  business.  Hundreds  of  acres 
are  now  covered  with  vats  for  solar  salt,  and  the  an- 
nual product  is  between  two  and  three  million 
bushels. 

The  salt  interest  of  Syracuse,  like  many  other 
manufacturing  interests,  has  had  its  seasons  of  pros- 
perity and  of  comparative  depression.  It  passed 
through  its  severest  trial  in  1857,  when  the  general 
financial  panic  paralyzed  the  business  of  the  country, 
especially  of  the  West.  Then,  and  for  several  years 
after,  Onondaga  salt  suffered  from  the  want  of 
a  regular  and  systematic  method  of  putting  it  upon 
the  market.  Says  Hon.  Thomas  G.  Alvord : 
"  Gentlemen  from  Buffalo  and  Oswego  would  come 
here  and  buy  our  salt.  They  would  give  us  their 
thirty  days,  ninety  days  and  four  months  paper. 
They  would  take  the  salt  and  use  it  for  ballast  on 
their  grain  vessels,  and  when  they  got  to  their 
destination,  they  would  dump  the  salt  on  the  dock 
and  sell  it  for  what  they  could  get.  If  their  venture 
in  grain  was  a  good  one,  we  got  our  pay,  if  not,  we 
were  the  losing  parties.  The  result  was  that  we 
were  at  the  mercy  of  these  men."  The  manufac- 
turers put  their  capital  and  their  wisdom  together 
and  got  out  of  the  difficulty  in  i860  and  1861. 

The  period  of  greatest  prosperity  was  during  the 
war  of  the  Rebellion.  The  largest  annual  produc- 
tions of  salt  were,  indeed,  during  the  years  from 
1867  to  1 87 1,  being  an  average  yield  per  annum  for 
the  four  years  of  8,612,865  bushels.  But  the  prices 
were  not  equal  to  those  ruling  from  1862  to  1865, 
when,  on  account  of  the  war,  foreign  salt  was  almost 
wholly  excluded  from  the  country. 

About  the  commencement  of  the  war,  salt  water 
was  discovered  in  abundant  quantities  in  the  valley 
of  the  Saginaw,  about  midway  between  the  salt 
springs  of  Syracuse  and  the  great  West,  which  had 
become  the  principal  market  for  Onondaga  Salt. 
The  latter,  however,  went  on  prospering  for  three 
or  four  years,  the  competition  being  scarcely  suf- 
ficient to  affect  the  market.  During  this  time  the 
volume  of  salt  made  here  was  largely  increased ; 
many  new  manufacturers  went  into  the  business ; 


48 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NKVV  YORK. 


prices  ranged  high,  and  all  seemed  in  the  full  tide  of 
prosperity.  Hut  just  at  this  juncture  the  salt  in- 
terest here  met  another  impediment.  The  experi- 
ment of  boring  for  oil  at  Godcrich,  Canada,  very 
much  to  the  astonishment  of  the  experimenters 
themselves,  resulted  in  striking  a  fountain  of  salt 
water,  the  strongest  and  purest  known  in  the 
country,  standing  92  and  98  degrees  of  the  sal- 
ometcr.  In  a  short  time  they  struck  another  well 
at  Kincardine,  twenty  five  miles  north  of  Godcrich, 
850  feet  deep,  and  found  the  same  result.  Then 
they  sank  a  well  at  Clinton,  twelve  miles  south  of 
Godcrich.  1,200  feet  deep  and  found  water  equally 
strong.  They  sank  another  well  at  Seaport,  twenty- 
five  miles  south  of  Godcrich,  1,400  feet  deep,  where 
they  have  gone  101  feet  into  a  solid  mass  of  rock 
salt. 

Of  course  these  discoveries,  together  with  the 
the  cheapness  of  labor  and  fuel  in  Canada  and  Mich- 
igan, have  had  a  tendency  greatly  to  depress  the 
salt  interest  in  this  locality.  For  several  years  past 
the  Canadian  and  Saginaw  salt  has  been  a  formida- 
ble rival  to  Onondaga  Salt  in  the  Western  markets, 
and  have  almost  entirely  excluded  the  latter  from 
Canada,  where  before  large  quantities  were  sold. 
Since  this  competition,  it  has  been  the  eflort  of  the 
Onondaga  manufacturers  to  not  only  improve  the 
quality  and  condition  of  the  salt  put  upon  the 
market,  but  also  to  cheapen  the  cost  of  its  produc- 
tion, so  as  to  be  able  to  conijiete  with  the  Saginaw 
and  Godcrich  salt,  and  to  find  markets  where  the 
transportation  will  be  most  favorable  to  the  salt 
manufactured  at  Syracuse.  This,  by  the  energy, 
jjcrscvcrance,  and  wise  management  of  the  com- 
panies, has  been  in  a  great  measure  accomplished. 
Hy  the  combination  of  capital  and  the  reduction 
of  the  cost  of  labor  and  fuel,  there  has  been 
of  late  years  a  great  saving  in  the  manufacture  of 
salt.' 

As  to  the  source  of  the  supply  of  these  salt  wells 
much  speculation  has  existed.  Hon.  Thomas  Spen- 
cer, former  Superintendent  of  the  Salt  Springs,  in  a 
letter  to  Hon.  George  Geddcs,  published  in  1859, 
says  :  "  We  only  know  that  we  penetrate  the  earth  in 
alluvial  deposits  at  various  points  bordering  upon 


Onondaga  Lake,  to  the  depth  of  from  qne  hundred 
to  four  hundred  feet,  and  find  the  brine  in  a  deposit 
of  gravel  resting  upon  a  hard  pan,  (impervious  to 
water,)  which  seems  to  form  the  floor  or  bottom  of 
our  salt  basin.  All  beyond  this  is  mere  conjecture. 
Eminent  geologists,  who  have  devoted  much  time 
to  the  investigation  of  this  subject,  have,  I  believe, 
uniformly  arrived  at  the  conclusion  that  the  source 
from  which  our  brine  is  derived  is  buried  deep  be- 
neath the  mountains  or  hills  south  of  us,  and  con- 
veyed to  the  points  where  we  find  it  by  subter- 
ranean currents  of  water  which  have  passed  through 
the  salifcrous  material  and  dissolved  it."  This  is 
the  general  opmion,  but  Mr.  Spencer  himself  was 
of  the  belief  that  there  is  deposited  nnmcdiately  be- 
neath Oiwndaga  Lake  a  solid  mass  of  rock  salt 
which  is  being  gradually  dissolved  and  flows  to  the 
points  where  we  find  our  brine.  He  alludes  to  the 
analogy  between  these  and  the  salt  springs  in  the 
valley  of  the  Holston,  in  Southwestern  Virginia, 
and  those  in  the  valley  of  the  Weaver,  near  Liver- 
pool, England,  in  both  of  which  the  brine  is  found 
in  immediate  contact  with  the  salt  rock.  Kut  his 
chief  reason  for  adopting  this  theory  is  the  peculiar 
formation  of  the  shores  and  bottom  of  the  lake, 
which  is  worthy  of  notice  aside  from  any  solution 
it  may  afl'ord  of  this  problem. 

On  all  sides  from  one-eighth  to  one-fourth  of  a 
mile  from  the  shores  the  water  of  the  lake  is  quite 
shallow.  At  this  distance  there  is  uniformly  a  bold 
and  precipitous  bank  where  the  water  is  from  fifteen 
to  twenty  feet  deep.  Beyond  this  the  water  deepens 
very  gradually  till  you  reach  the  center  of  the  lake, 
which  is  about  sixty  feet  deep.  This  precipitous 
bank  at  such  a  uniform  distance  from  the  shore, 
seemed  to  Mr.  Spencer  unaccountable  unless  it 
marks  the  outline  of  a  bed  of  rock  salt,  which,  as  it 
is  gradually  dissolved,  allows  the  loose  and  alluvial 
deposit  above  it  to  settle  down,  and  in  this  way  the 
abrupt  bank  is  formed  and  preserved.  Otherwise, 
the  sediment  which  has  been  accumulating  for  ages 
would  be  deposited  in  a  uniform  manner  from  the 
shore  to  the  center  of  the  lake.  Hon.  George 
Geddes  has  given  us  from  the  soundings  of  this  lake 
the  following  report : 


>  The  t'ollowing  itaicmcnt  ihowi  where  (he  Onandj|a  lali  hat  found  iti  market  lince  1867  : 


i«67. 

|W«. 

1169. 

IbTO. 

1»71. 

l«7i. 

i«7|. 

l»74- 

1875.      1 

Of  the  mm-rnirnt  \\t= 
l,«l 1,171 

Sctii 

,.  n™ 

York 

dly 

..    ....1    1,407. JOO 

v..  ■-••.4-. 

lonhcni 
i    1.197.150 

1,065,110 
8,(i66.ril6 

1.940,615! 



l.Oli.llJ' 
IB4,IS« 
71,190 

i,90o,(i( 

l,)lo,lo6 
il4.<X>S 

>,JI4l976 
1,660,57* 

1.517,041 

i.<//.,941 

915,011 
107,416 

410,651 
191,981 

1,117,115 
|0«,|l6 

HiirinK 

V. 

K;0,llo' 
1,110,190, 
1,601,110 

1,700,7(1 

.*- 

•,*75,654 
1,1171.944 

'.053,190 

1,191,690 
1,157,195 

1.577,013 

1,091,891 

1,474.' 17 

I.75«.')6« 

710,695 

(,o8l,5T7 

1.940.541 

S; 

r.rtal. 



T.SvJ.J*-! 

«,«>i,ti: 

S,74«,ll| 

»,r4,itii 

7, 5*^719 

7,4A0,I57 

6,019,118 

7,179,446 

\ 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


49 


At  500  feet  from  shore. ...    3.5  feet  depth 

"    700     "      "  " 6 

"    740     "      "  " 23        "        " 

"    760     "      "  "...   25        "        " 

"    800     "      "  " 27       " 

"    860     "      "  " 32.5     "        " 

"     Q20       "         "  "    .  .  .  .  ''Q  ^       "  " 

In  the  middle  of  the  lake.  .55  "  " 
Opposite  a  point  two  miles  from  the  east  end  of 
the  lake,  the  water  is  sixty-five  feet  deep  in  the  mid- 
dle. At  Liverpool,  three  miles  from  the  east  end, 
the  depth  is  fifty-five  feet,  and  many  soundings  prove 
this  to  be  the  general  depth.  Once  away  from  the 
foot  of  the  abrupt  bank,  and  the  bottom  is  so  level 
that  the  deepest  place  exceeds  the  shallowest  by 
only  ten  feet,  and  this  depression  is  approached  very 
gradually.  Ten  or  fifteen  feet  of  the  bottom  of  this 
lake  is  marl,  which  has  been  precipitated  from  the 
water,  and  this  marl  lies  on  sand  and  clay  with  some 
strata  of  gravel.  Every  boring  that  has  been  made 
within  this  basin  gives  this  general  result,  the  only 
variations  being  in  the  thickness  of  the  several 
strata,  not  in  their  character.  The  well  near  the 
road  that  crosses  the  beach  at  the  head  of  the  lake 
was  intended  to  be  the  middle  of  the  valley.  The 
tube  was  sunk  414  feet  through  the  following  strata  : 

White  and  beach  sand 34  feet. 

Blue  clay 100    " 

Light-colored  clay 48    " 

Sand,  coarse  enough  for  mortar. .  209    " 

Clear  gravel 6    " 

Quick  sand 11     " 

Cemented  gravel 2    " 

Red  clay 3    " 

Red  clay  (hard) i    " 

The  bottom  of  this  well  is  nearly  fifty  feet  below 
the  surface  of  the  sea.  At  134  feet  a  cedar  log  was 
encountered  in  a  state  of  perfect  preservation.  This 
is  not  only  a  deep  but  an  ancient  valley.  The  fact 
of  finding  timber  in  this  deposit  goes  to  show  that 
a  large  part  of  the  excavation  has  been  filled  since 
the  general  emergence  of  the  sea,  and  that  a  large 
part  of  the  alluvium  has  been  taken  by  the  present 
water  courses  into  the  valley.  This  timber  and  the 
many  other  specimens  encountered  from  time  to 
time  by  the  drills,  were  probably  brought  into  the 
lake  by  some  of  its  tributaries.  However  this  may 
be,  the  marl  and  clay  which  lie  above  the  timber 
have  been  deposited  by  the  waters  of  the  lake.* 

Mr.  Spencer  supposes  that  the  fact  that  it  has  now 
a  level  bottom  surrounded  by  steep  banks  of  marl, 
clay  and  sand,  is  only  to  be  accounted  for  by  a  sub- 
sidence of  a  large  part  of  the  bottom,  and  that  such 
subsidence  is  caused  by  the  gradual  dissolving  of 
salt  that  lies  under  it.    It  is  certain  that  water  hold- 

*Hon.  George  Geddes,  Report,  1859. 
7* 


ing  in  solution  earthy  matter,  never  deposits  it'in 
the  form  we  now  find  the  bottom  of  this  lake. 

Convenience  has  thus  far  caused  all  the  drilling 
for  salt  water  to  be  made  around  the  lake,  and  the 
lesson  taught  by  every  experiment  has  been  that 
there  is  no  strong  salt  water  to  be  found  out  of  the 
alluvium  in  the  valley.  And  the  thicker  the  allu- 
vium the  better  the  prospect  for  strong  water. 

We  take  the  following  extract  from  the  Report  of 
Dr.  F.  E.  Englehardt,  Chemist  for  the  Onondaga 
Salt  Springs,  made  in  1877: 

"  The  natural  sources  of  all    salt    supplies   are 
either  rock  salt,  salt  springs,  salt  lakes,  or  finally, 
the  ocean.     At  Syracuse  we  have  derived  all  our 
salt  since  1797  from  salt  wells,  amounting  up  to  the 
present  time  to  250,000,000  bushels  ;  to  which  we 
must  add  at  least  50,000,000  for  loss  incurred  in  the 
various  manufacturing  processes  by  leakage,  making 
a  grand  total  of  300,000,000.     The  number  of  wells 
sunk  from  time  to  time  to  produce  this  large  amount 
cannot  be  less  than  200,  at  an  e.xpense  of  at  least 
;$750,ooo.     The  question  therefore  naturally  arises, 
and  it  is  a  most  important  one,  in  regard  to  our  salt 
industry,  from   whence  does  this  large  amount  of 
salt   come,  which   would   cover  over  a  surface  of 
120,000,000  square  feet  one  foot  high  with  solid 
salt  .■*     It  certainly  was  not  stored  up  in  the  ancient 
valley  of  erosion,  below  our  feet,  in  the  form  of 
brine.     Therefore  it  must  occur  in  the  solid  form  as 
a  bed  of  rock  salt.      Up  to  date  very  few  attempts 
have  been  made  to  ascertain  the  actual  source  of 
our  brine.     The  first  was  made  in  1838,  when  the 
State  sank  a  well  at  Salina  600  feet  deep,  of  which 
the  Superintendent   in   his   report  for   1839  says  : 
'  Passing  through  the  immense  mass  of  red    and 
blue  shales  and  the  limestone  (Niagara)  below,  it 
terminated  in  the  protean  group  (Clinton.)    What- 
ever may  be  its  source  it  is  well  observed  by  the 
learned  geologist  of  this  district,  in  his  last  annual 
report,  that  it  is  only  to  be  sought  in   a  southern 
direction  from  which  all  the  waters  naturally  flow.' 
The  Salt  Company  of  Onondaga  sank,  in   1867,  a 
well  at  Liverpool  715  feet  deep,  which,  according  to 
Prof  Goessman,  passed  through  82  feet  of  alluvium, 
279  feet  of  red  and  green  shales,  33  feet  of  calcari- 
ous  shales,   106  feet  of    limestone  formation,  and 
finally  215  feet  of  various  veins  of  shales.     These 
are  the  only  two  attempts  ever  made  to  solve  this 
question." 

Dr.  Englehardt  then  considers  the  opinions  of 
geologists  entitled  to  the  greatest  weight,  on  ac- 
count of  their  scientific  acquirements,  in  reference 
to  the  question  touching  the  source  of  the  Onon- 
daga salt,  and  finds  them  generally  agreeing  that 
the  supply  is  derived  from  a  mass  of  fossil  or  rock 
salt,  situated  under  the  hills  to  the  south  of  the 
lake  basin,  and  asks  :  "  Would  it  not,  therefore,  be 
more  economical  on  the  part  of  the  State  to  have 
this  subject  thoroughly  examined  by  the  State 
Geologist,  and  if  found  correct,  dig  a  test  well  for 


so 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


the  purjx)sc  of  either  finding  the  salt  rock,  or  at 
least  saturated  brine,  thus  avoiding  the  necessity 
of  sinking  new  wells  year  after  year,  in  proportion 
as  the  older  ones  become  useless  ?  •  •  * 
Our  salt  works  with  an  abundance  of  saturated 
brine,  could  produce  at  least  15,000,000  bushels  of 
salt,  which  would  in  less  than  ten  years  return  to 
the  State  in  duty  all  the  expense  incurred  in  such 
an  undertaking.  Our  salt  industry  would  revive  ; 
we  could  then  successfully  enter  our  old  markets 
and  compete  with  our  rivals." 


CHAPTKK    XII. 
Salt  Springs  Continued — Process  01    Manu- 

FACTLKE CONSTKUCTION    OK      THE      VVeLLS  — 

Pump  Works  —  Solar  Salt — Dairy  Salt — 
Table  Showing  the  Amount  of  Salt  Made 
Since  1797. 

THE  salt  works  of  Onondaga  are  divided  into 
four  districts,  viz :  Syracuse,  Salina,  Liver- 
pool and  Gcddcs.  The  amount  of  salt  inspected 
in  each  and  the  aggregate  amounts  for  the  year 
1S76  are  shown  in  the  following  table  : 


PUco. 

Solar. 

210,199 

313.859 
158,568 
651,115 

>, 353,841 

Fine. 

Solar 
ground. 

Fine 
ground. 

Aggregate 
butheU. 

S\ricuie... 

Sjllnj 

457,^61 
1,684,915 

3'5.773 
178,611 

1,736,761 

384.307 
77,860 

396,' 54 
96.517 

954,838 

».97« 

1,065,046 

1,086,634 

870,495 

1,370,501 

Livcfj^ool.. 
GcJdcl    .  . 

344.159 

347,137 

5.391.677 

The  strength  of  the  brine  in  the  four  districts, 
including  the  old  and  new  wells,  from  1865  to  1876 
inclusive,  is  shown  as  follows,  except  for  1868,  of 
which  there  appears  to  be  no  record  : 

Due.                   Syracuie.  Salina.  Literpool.  Geddef.  Average. 

1865 66.17  66.47  60.65  66.17  64.86 

1866 65.90  65.81  58.34  65.90  63.98 

'867 64.44  64.35  64.35  63.95  64.27 

1869 60.98  60.36  60.36  59.02  60.88 

1870 59-49      5894      5894      5934      S922 

1871 63.00      62.35      62.35      63.82      62.88 

1872 65.10      66.00      66.00      66.20      65.82 

1S73 63.43      6543      6543      67.52      65.45 

1S74 63.80      66.15      66.15      67.15      65.81 

1S75 63.88      66.38      66.38      69.50      66.54 

1876 66.75      67.70      67.70      69.33      68.15 

The  process  of  manufacturing  salt  by  artificial 
heat  has  changed  very  little  except  in  its  methods 
and  appliances  ;  the  principle,  that  of  evaporation 
under  the  power  of  heat,  remaining  the  same. 
The  first  "  salt  works  "  was  Comfort  Tyler's  fifteen 
gallon  kettle  suspended  upon  a  pole  across  two 
crotched  stakes  ;  then  came  the  four  kettle  "  block," 
then  the  ten  kettle,  and  so  on,  up  to  twenty  and 
forty    kettles.       Finally,   Hon.   Thomas    Spencer 


erected  a  block  containing  one  hundred  and  eight 
kettles.  This,  however,  was  thought  to  be  too 
extensive  for  the  most  advantageous  and  economical 
manufacture,  and  usually  the  preference  has  been 
given  to  blocks  of  about  fifty  or  sixty  kettles.  The 
kettles  are  mostly  of  the  capacity  of  one  hundred 
and  twenty  gallons,  in  form  a  half  sphere,  diameter 
four  feet,  made  of  cast  iron  and  weighing  from  six 
hundred  to  one  thousand  pounds.  These  are  sus- 
pended in  two  contiguous  rows  on  brick  walls,  with  a 
suitable  furnace  or  fire  bed  at  one  end  and  the  chim- 
ney at  the  other.  The  whole  is  covered  with  a  suit- 
able building,  with  bins  extending  the  entire  length 
on  both  sides,  to  store  the  salt  in  and  protect  it  from 
the  weather  until  it  is  ready  to  be  packed  in  barrels 
for  market.  The  law  requires  it  to  lie  in  the  bins 
fourteen  days  before  it  is  considered  suflficiently 
dry  for  packing. 

Wood  has  been  heretofore  chiefly  used  for  fuel, 
but  now  the  principal  fuel  is  cosl.  A  cord  of  the 
best  hard  wood  and  a  ton  cither  of  anthracite  or 
bituminous  coal  will  produce  about  the  same 
amount,  that  is,  fifty  bushels  of  salt,  the  evaporation 
being  eight  pounds  of  brine  to  one  pound  of  coal. 
A  block  consisting  of  fifty  kettles  will  require  about 
five  tons  of  coal  every  twenty-four  hours  and  will 
therefore  produce  about  two  hundred  and  fifty 
bushels  of  salt  daily.  The  cost  of  such  a  block 
with  its  appendages,  is  from  five  to  six  thousand 
dollars. 

There  is,  or  should  bc,  attached  to  each  block 
three  cisterns,  each  of  sufficient  capacity  to  hold  as 
much  brine  as  may  be  required  for  two  days'  use. 
This  is  necessary  for  the  purpose  of  aftbrding  suffi- 
cient time  to  precipitate  the  impurities  by  chemical 
agents  before  it  shall  be  supplied  to  the  kettles. 
Caustic  lime  was  at  one  time  used  for  the  purpose 
of  cleansing  the  brine  from  a  portion  of  its  impu- 
rities, but  it  was  used  in  such  quantities  in 
many  instances  by  the  operatives  that  it  produced 
an  impurity  more  injurious  to  the  salt  than  that 
which  it  expelled,  and  its  use  had  to  be  prohibited. 
Alum  is  now  generally  used  in  the  place  of  lime. 

The  simplest  method  for  testing  the  impurities  in 
salt,  is  to  take  pure  water  and  saturate  it  with  the 
salt  to  be  tested,  which  for  any  given  quantity  of 
salt  will  require  twice  and  half  its  weight  of  water, 
stir  till  the  salt  is  fully  dissolved.  If  the  salt  is 
combined  with  impurities,  the  solution  will  at  first 
have  a  milky  appearance,  but  after  remaining  at  rest 
a  few  hours,  the  impurities  will  settle  to  the  bottom 
of  the  vessel ;  if  the  salt  is  pure,  the  solution  will 
be  transparent,  and  there  will  be  no  sediment. 

Salt  is  a  solid  that  melts  at  a  bright  red  heat 


I 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


SI 


and  passes  off  without  being  decomposed.  It  is 
without  odor  ;  color  white  or  transparent.  It  crys- 
talizes  in  cubes  from  its  solution  in  water,  and  when 
formed  by  rapid  but  quiet  evaporation  from  the  sur- 
face, it  forms  hopper-shaped  crystals.  Hot  and 
saturated  solutions,  when  cooled,  frequently  give 
long,  slender,  square  prisms.  Formed  in  hot  solu- 
tions, agitated  by  boiling,  the  crystals  are  very  small 
and  broken  into  irregular  shapes.  When  rosin, 
soap,  butter,  or  any  oily  substance  is  added  to  the 
brine,  it  will  not  form  crystals,  but  by  evaporation 
deposit  the  salt  in  exceedingly  fine  grains.  Salt 
usually  attracts  moisture  from  the  air,  but  when 
pure  this  attraction  is  very  slight. 

The  process  of  manufacture  consists  in  removing 
the  water  by  evaporation,  and  at  the  same  time  get- 
ting rid  of  the  impurities  held  in  solution.  In  the 
boiled  salt  this  is  accomplished  by  first  precipitating 
the  oxide  of  iron  in  the  cisterns  connected  with  the 
works.  Unless  this  o.xide  is  removed,  the  salt  will 
have  a  reddish  color.  The  alum  used  for  its  pre- 
cipitation improves  the  grain  of  the  salt,  making  it 
finer  and  causing  it  to  drain  well.  The  sulphate  of 
lime  is  precipitated  as  the  point  of  saturation  is 
approached,  by  pans  placed  in  the  bottoms  of  the 
kettles  into  which  it  falls  and  is  lifted  out  during  the 
boiling  of  the  water.  The  bitterhigs,  as  they  are 
called,  which  are  thus  removed,  are  almost  pure 
gypsum. 

In  the  year  1830  the  first  iron  tubes  were  sunk 
with  a  view  to  procure  water  from  a  greater  depth. 
At  sixty  feet  brine  was  found  from  twenty-five  to 
thirty  per  cent,  stronger  than  at  the  old  wells.  Very 
soon  many  tubes  were  sunk,  and  for  a  long  time  all 
the  salt  water  was  raised  by  pumps  through  these 
tubes,  and  then  forced  up  and  accumulated  in  res- 
ervoirs from  which  it  flows  in  wooden  pipes  to  the 
various  manufactories.  These  pumps  are  driven  by 
water  taken  from  the  canal,  or  in  cases  where  the 
water  power  cannot  be  applied,  by  steam  engines. 
For  many  years  the  State  was  paid  by  the  bushel 
for  pumping  the  water,  but  afterwards  all  the  expen- 
ses were  merged  in  the  one  cent  a  bushel.  Several 
companies  at  present  own  private  wells  and  do  their 
own  pumping. 

The  manner  of  drilling  and  tubing  salt  wells 
has  been  somewhat  as  follows  :  The  old  tubes 
used  by  the  State  were  made  of  sugar  maple  logs,  in 
sections  of  eight  feet  long,  eight  inches  calibre,  and 
turned  in  a  lathe  to  a  uniform  thickness.  These 
sections  were  cut  off  square,  at  the  ends,  and  a  recess 
turned  into  the  timber  on  the  outside  to  receive  a 
band  of  iron  ten  inches  wide  and  one- fourth  of  an 
inch  thick,  which  is  to  rest  on  and  confine  the  ends 


of  the  two  sections  when  they  are  joined  together. 
A  circular  dowel  of  cast  iron,  three  inches  wide  is 
let  into  the  ends  of  the  sections,  holding  them 
together  firmly,  and  excluding  all  water  from  the 
joints.  In  the  first  place  a  cast  iron  tube,  three 
feet  in  length,  is  joined  to  a  wooden  section.  This 
piece  of  iron  tubing  is  sharp  at  the  lower  end,  hav- 
ing the  inside  enlarged  for  a  few  inches  up,  leaving 
the  outer  diameter  fourteen  inches,  to  correspond 
with  that  of  the  wood.  These  sections  are  set  up 
perpendicularly,  and  by  a  press  forced  into  the  soil. 
When  a  tube  has  sunk  down  far  enough  for  another 
section  to  be  added,  the  press  is  withdrawn  and  the 
section  put  on,  and  again  the  press  is  applied.  This 
process  is  continued  as  long  as  the  tube  can  be  sunk 
without  removing  the  earth  that  is  inside.  When 
this  point  is  reached,  which  is  sometimes  sixty  or 
seventy  feet  below  the  surface,  the  drills  are  intro- 
duced, and  by  first  cutting  the  earth  fine,  a  bucket 
made  of  iron,  with  a  valve  at  its  lower  end,  will 
take  hold  of  and  lift  the  contents  of  the  tube  to 
the  surface.  When  hard  material  is  met,  sharp 
drills  are  used  to  cut  it  up.  The  shape  of  the  lower 
section  made  of  cast  iron  is  such  that  at  the  very  end 
of  the  tube  its  calibre  is  nearly  equal  to  the  outer 
dimensions,  and  by  using  drills  which  have  springs 
placed  on  one  side  of  their  stems  and  edges  which 
point  outwards  from  the  springs,  holes  may  be  cut 
through  rock  large  enough  to  allow  the  tubes  to 
pass.  Various  tools  are  called  into  requisition  to 
reach  down  and  grasp  the  substances  and  to  over- 
come the  obstacles  encountered, which  would  require 
drawings  for  their  illustration. 

The  press  that  is  used  is  simple  :  heavy  pieces 
of  timber  supported  by  strong  posts,  connected 
with  a  platform  through  which  the  tube  passes. 
This  platform  is  loaded  with  stone,  so  that  it  will 
not  lift  when  the  heavy  iron  screws  passing  through 
the  beam  are  turned  down  on  the  yoke  which 
presses  the  tube.  The  rods  to  which  the  drills  are 
attached  are  made  of  iron  in  sections  of  convenient 
length  connected  by  screws.  These  drills  are  lifted 
by  ropes  worked  by  a  steam  engine,  and  let  fall  by 
means  of  a  simple  device,  cutting  and  crushing  by 
their  weight  whatever  is  in  their  way. 

A  well  thus  obtained  is  connected  by  wooden 
tubes  with  a  pump  which  sucks  up  the  water. 
Formerly  it  was  pumped  directly  from  the  bottom 
of  the  well  to  the  distributing  reservoir.  But  the 
difficulties  in  the  way  of  having  perfectly  tight 
suction  pipes  were  hard  to  overcome,  and  the 
method  of  "flooding"  the  pipes  allowed  the  suction 
to  draw  in  fresh  water  at  every  leakage,  reducing 
the  strength  of  the  brine.     A  remedy  for  this  evil 


52 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


was  suggested  by  Mr.  Gcddes  in  an  elaborate  article 
on  the  salt  interest,  published  in  the  Transactions  of 
the  New  York  State  Agricultural  Society  for  1859. 
"  Now,"  says  Mr.  Geddes,  "  every  stroke  of  the 
reciprocating,  double-acting  force  and  suction  pumps 
has  to  overcome  the  inertia  of  the  whole  column  of 
water  from  the  bottom  of  the  well  to  the  distributing 
reservoir.  This  inertia  is  so  great  in  long  pipes  that 
the  pumps  produce  a  vacuum  at  every  stroke,  and 
thus  there  is  an  inward  pressure  of  the  atmosphere 
of  fifteen  pounds  to  the  square  inch,  which  drives  air, 
or  when  the  pipes  arc  flooded,  water  into  every  pore 
and  crevice  of  the  pipes.  Lifting  pumps  at  the 
wells,  moving  slowly,  with  long  strokes,  would  do 
away  with  much  of  the  strain  of  the  machinery, 
and  remedy  the  present  evil." 

This  suggestion  of  Mr.  Geddes  is  now  pretty 
generally  carried  out.  Rotary  and  plunge  steam 
pumps  have  been  placed  at  most  of  the  wells,  by 
which  the  brine  is  lifted  to  the  surface,  whence  it  is 
drawn  through  the  pipes  to  the  distributing  reser- 
voirs by  the  pumps  stationed  at  the  pump  houses. 
This  improvement  was  inaugurated  under  the 
administration  of  Hon.  Vivus  W.  Smith,  first  at 
Salina,  and  has  since  been  generally  adopted 
throughout  the  salt  works. 

Iron  tubes  for  sinking  wells  are  now  used  in  place 
of  wooden  ones.  They  arc  made  in  sections  often 
or  twelve  feet  in  length  and  screwed  together  by 
bolts  through  sockets  at  the  ends  of  the  sections. 
The  apparatus  for  sinking  them  is  nearly  the  same 
as  that  formerly  emjjloyed  for  wooden  tubes. 

By  an  act  of  the  Legislature,  embodying  a  few 
new  provisions,  passed  April  15,  1859,  all  the  pre- 
vious laws  relating  to  the  manufacture  of  salt  on 
the  Onondaga  Salt  Springs  Reservation,  were  con- 
solidated and  codified.  The  act  of  April  25,  1866, 
made  some  amendments  to  the  provisions  of  the 
act  of  1859,  relating  chiefly  to  the  duties  and 
salaries  of  subordinate  officers  and  conferring  upon 
the  Superintendent  the  power  to  administer  the 
oath  to  his  deputies  and  employees. 

The  Legislature  of  1873,  passed  an  act  appropriat- 
ing $20,000  to  be  expended  in  sinking  new  wells, 
so  as  to  furnish  a  better  quality  of  water.  The 
Superintendent  in  pursuance  of  thislawsank  in  1875 
and  1876,  seven  wells  in  the  locality  which  seemed 
to  indicate  the  strongest  water.  These  are  good 
wells  yielding  brine  of  71  and  72  degrees  of  the  salo- 
meter.  It  was  hoped  that  an  appropriation  would  be 
made  to  enable  the  Superintendent  to  render  these 
wells  useful  by  connecting  them  with  the  pump 
house,  and  thus  supplying  the  works  with  improved 
water,  but  a  bill  for  that  object  and  for  general 


repairs  was  vetoed  by  the  Governor.  The  Legisla- 
ture then,  at  the  instance  of  the  Superintendent, 
appointed  a  joint  committee  to  visit  the  salt  works 
and  report  upon  the  condition  and  wants  of  the  salt 
interest.  This  committee  met  in  Syracuse  on  the 
17th  of  February,  1876,  and  after  a  thorough  inves- 
tigation, with  a  view  to  recommending  such  action 
by  the  Legislature  as  might  be  deemed  most  advis- 
able, unanimously  reported  in  favor  of  a  special 
appropriation  to  the  amount  of  $23,000,  to  furnish 
a  new  water  wheel,  and  the  necessary  machinery 
and  fi.\tures  to  bring  into  use  the  new  wells  which 
had  been  sunk.  These  wells  are  now  in  operation 
furnishing  a  superior  quality  of  brine. 

Of  the  316  blocks  on  the  Reservation,  only  106 
were  in  operation  during  the  year  1876,  showing 
that  the  present  capacity  for  manufacture  exceeds 
15,000,000  bushels  annually.  It  is  no  exaggeration 
to  say  that  this  limit  may  be  reached  with  proper 
effort  on  the  part  of  the  manufacturers  and  a  wise 
patronage  on  the  part  of  the  State. 

The  Salt  Manufacturers  of  Onondaga  have  in 
fixtures  alone  an  investment  of  not  less  than  four 
millions  of  dollars,  and  the  business  in  addition  to 
this,  requires  a  working  capital  of  fully  half  that 
sum  to  carry  it  on  successfully. 

SoL.AK  Salt  is  the  name  given  to  that  which  is 
made  without  the  use  of  artificial  heat.  A  law  was 
passed  in  181 2,  authorizing  the  Superintendent  of 
the  Salt  Springs  to  lay  out  two  acres  of  land  and 
lease  the  same,  free  of  duty  if  he  thought  proper, 
to  induce  an  experiment  to  be  made  for  the  produc- 
tion of  salt  by  solar  evaporation.  This  was  prob- 
ably the  first  movement  in  the  direction  of  the  solar 
salt  works,  but  nothing  practical  seems  to  have  re- 
sulted therefrom  till  1822,  when  Judge  Forman  pro- 
cured the  passage  of  a  law  authorizing  the  erection 
of  fixtures  and  awarding  a  bounty  of  three  cents 
per  bushel  for  all  salt  made  by  solar  evaporation  for 
a  given  number  of  years.  Judge  Forman  in  com- 
pany with  Isaiah  Townsend,  Esq  ,  went  to  New 
Bedford  to  investigate  the  method  of  manufacturing 
solar  salt  from  sea  water  as  it  was  then  carried  on 
at  Cape  Cod.  They  brought  Mr.  Stephen  Smith, 
an  expert  in  this  kind  of  manufacture,  with  them  to 
Syracuse,  and  he  was  made  the  agent  of  the  Onon- 
daga Company,  and  Judge  Forman  of  the  Syracuse 
Company,  and  the  two  proceeded  to  erect  the 
necessary  fixtures  for  the  manufacture  of  coarse  or 
solar  salt. 

At  this  time  the  Salina  Canal  terminated  at  the 
south  edge  of  the  village  of  Salina.  Judge  For- 
man took  Governor  DcVVitt  Clinton  to  Salina  to  ex- 
amine the  situation,  and  to  see  how  the  canal  might 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


S3 


be  extended  to  Onondaga  Lake  and  made  available 
as  a  water  power  to  drive  machinery  at  the  salt 
works.  The  following  year  this  plan  was  carried 
into  successful  operation.  This  grand  improvement 
in  the  method  of  elevating  brine  was  made  at  the 
expense  of  the  Onondaga  and  Syracuse  Salt  Com- 
panies, under  the  direction  of  Judge  Forman  ;  but 
the  fixtures,  aqueduct,  &c.,  were  afterwards  bought 
by  the  State. 

The  structures  for  the  manufacture  of  solar  salt 
consist  of  long  parallel  rows  of  shallow  wooden 
vats,  sixteen  or  eighteen  feet  wide  and  supported  by 
many  small  posts.  The  rows  of  vats  are  divided 
into  what  are  called  deep  rooms,  lime  rooms,  and 
salt  rooms.  They  are  arranged  in  various  ways,  as 
the  shape  of  the  ground  or  the  fancy  of  the  owner 
may  dictate.  In  the  works  of  the  Solar  Salt  Com- 
pany, the  water  is  drawn  directly  from  a  distribut- 
ing reservoir  into  the  deep  rooms  which  are  about 
a  quarter  of  a  mile  long.  The  water  runs  the 
whole  length  of  the  "  string,"  and  is  then  carried 
into  the  next  parallel  string  by  wooden  pipes. 
It  runs  the  whole  length  of  this  string  back  to 
opposite  the  place  where  it  was  introduced  ;  then 
again  it  is  sent  into  another  and  another  of  these 
strings,  and  having  been  thus  exposed  to  the 
sun  and  wind,  in  a  shed  of  perhaps  ten  inches  deep 
and  sixteen  feet  wide,  for  a  whole  mile,  it  has  rid 
itself  of  its  o.xide  of  iron,  has  increased  its  strength 
from  70  to  84  degrees  of  the  salometer,  and  is  ready  to 
be  carried  into  the  lime  room,  where  it  deposits  its 
sulphate  of  lime.  It  is  kept  running  along  these 
rooms  in  a  thinner  sheet  till  the  small  cubes  of  salt 
are  seen  forming.  Saturation  is  now  complete  and 
all  the  impurities  are  precipitated  that  can  be.  The 
water  thus  concentrated  and  freed  from  the  lime 
and  iron,  is  drawn  into  the  salting  rooms,  where 
pure  salt  is  rapidly  deposited,  having  a  coarse 
crystalization  in  the  form  of  hoppers  and  cubes. 
There  yet  remains  in  the  brine  after  the  salt  is  re- 
moved impurities  more  soluble  than  the  salt,  viz : 
the  deliquescent  chlorides.  About  one-third  of  all 
the  vats  are  required  for  precipitating  the  im- 
purities. The  whole  field  is  expected  to  yield  fifty 
bushels  to  the  cover  of  sixteen  or  eighteen  feet. 
The  word  "  cover "  is  derived  from  the  moveable 
roofs  which  in  fair  weather  are  shoved  off  on  lateral 
ways  to  allow  the  sun  to  reach  the  water.  These 
covers  have  been  adopted  as  the  standard  of  meas- 
ure, and  in  speaking  of  a  salt  field,  it  is  said  to  have 
so  many  covers.  Space  is  required  for  the  covers 
when  off  the  vats  and  also  for  roads  between  the 
strings  to  cart  away  the  salt.  An  acre  of  land  re- 
quires sixty  covers,  costing  about  $30  each.     Thus 


the  cost  is  about  Si, 800  an  acre,  which  in  an 
ordinary  season  will  yield  about  3,000  bushels  of 
salt.  The  cost  and  space  required  are  disadvantages 
which  are  fully  met  by  the  cheapness  of  the  manu- 
facture when  once  the  works  are  in  operation. 

Formerly  this  salt  was  kiln-dried  and  ground  in 
common  flouring  mills  for  dairy  purposes,  at  con- 
siderable expense,  but  more  recently  mills  have  been 
invented  which  grind  it  with'out  any  drying  by  fire. 
Well  drained  in  the  store-house,  it  is  put  through 
the  mills  and  ground  to  any  desirable  fineness  for 
dairy  or  table  use  at  a  cost  of  not  more  than  one 
cent  a  bushel.  In  a  document  presented  to  the 
Constitutional  Convention  in  1S67,  Hon.  George 
Geddes,  then  Superintendent  of  the  Salt  Springs, 
reported  six  mills  for  the  grinding  of  salt,  owned 
and  valued  as  follows  : 

James  P.  Raskins'  Mill,  estimated  to  be 

worth $40,000 

John  W.  Barker  &  Co's  Mill 40,000 

Henry  B.  &  Wilmot  E.  Burton's  Mill 16,000 

Timothy  R.  Porter's  Mill 16,000 

Ashton  Salt  Company's  Mill 16,000 

H.  White's  Mill 10,000 


Total, $138,000 

The  first,  fourth  and  fifth  are  the  only  ones 
now  used  for  grinding  dairy  and  table  salt.  The 
Haskins  Mill,  enlarged  to  four  times  its  origi- 
nal capacity,  is  operated  by  the  Excelsior  Dairy 
Salt  Company.  This  and  the  Ashton  Company's 
Mill,  and  that  owned  and  operated  by  Mr.  Timothy 
R.  Porter,  are  of  sufficient  capacity  to  grind  all  the 
dairy  salt  required  for  the  market. 

The  "  Factory  Filled,"  or  Dairy  Salt,  is  made 
from  both  solar  and  common  salt  by  a  patent  ma- 
chine process  whereby  not  only  mechanically  mixed 
impurities  are  removed,  but  also  the  small  quanti- 
ties of  obnoxious  chlorides  of  calcium  and  magne- 
sium are  decomposed  in  a  very  careful  manner. 
The  largest  factory  filled  establishment,  the  property 
of  the  Excelsior  Dairy  Salt  Company,  is  at  Salina, 
and  known  under  the  name  of  "  Excelsior  Mills." 
They  consist  of  two  immense  wooden  structures 
with  about  five  acres  of  flooring. 

The  salt  is  crushed  between  two  sets  of  stones  to 
the  proper  size,  and  gradually  fed  into  two  patent 
washing  machines,  wherein  the  salt  moves  in  the 
opposite  direction  to  the  chemically  prepared  salt- 
brine  employed,  and  becomes,  by  repeated  washing 
with  the  fresh  salt-brine,  perfectly  purified. 

After  proper  drainage  the  salt  is  dried  in  large  re- 
volving iron  cylinders.  A  powerful  blast  of  hot  air 
carries  the  moisture  into  the  chimney.  The  ex- 
haust steam  from  the  hundred-horse  power  engine 


54 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


serves  for  concentrating  the  salt-brine  employed  in 
washing  the  salt.  The  dried  salt  is  now  elevated 
10  the  upper  floors,  where  five  sets  of  stones  are  in 
constant  motion  grinding  it  to  the  desired  fineness, 
while  a  suction  blower  removes  the  dust. 

There  is  one  other  mill  of  about  the  same  capaci- 
ty situated  in  Gcddae,  owned  by  the  Ashton  Dairy 
Salt  Company,  in  which  the  salt  is  made  in  the 
same  way  as  in  the  "  Excelsior  Mills." 

The  purity  of  the  various  salts  made  at  Onondaga 
is  unquestioned,  reference  being  made  to  many  an- 
alyses furnished  from  time  to  time  under  the  direc- 
tion of  the  General  Government  and  other  author- 
ities. In  regard  to  the  dairy  salt,  the  tests  made  by 
the  Butter  and  Cheese  E.xchangc  of  New  York 
prove  the  superiority  of  the  F.  F.  salt  made  at 
Syracuse  over  any  other,  as  is  shown  by  the  fol- 
lowing uiaUrsis  : 

English.     Onondaga. 

VVatei       _ 0.7880  0.6280 

Insoluble  matter 0.0564  0.0264 

Sulphate  of  lime. 1.2272  O.7217 

Sulphate  of  magnesia 00769  

Chloride  of  calcium 00473 

Chloride  of  magnesium 0.0591  0.0346 

Sulphate  of  soda 

Chloride  of  sodium 977598  98.5242 


99.9674  999822 

The  Superintendent  of  the  Salt  Springs,  Hon. 
A.  C.  Powell,  appends  the  following  remarks  : 

"This  report  is  of  especial  interest  at  this  time 
when  the  old  prejudice  against  the  use  of  home 
salt  is  beginning  to  give  way,  because  it  emanates 
from  an  association  which  has  never  been  accused 
of  any  special  partiality  for  Onondaga  salt,  but,  on 
the  contrary,  from  their  local  and  commercial 
training,  have  been  inclined  to  defend  the  use  of 
the  foreign  article.  In  fact  so  far  have  their  preju- 
dices governed  them  that  in  making  contracts  with 
dairy  farmers  for  their  butter  and  cheese,  they  have 
frequently  inserted  a  clause  binding  them  to  the  use 
of  the  Ashton  salt.  This  entailed  upon  the  farmer 
an  additional  expense  of  from  one  to  one  and  a  half 
dollars  upon  each  sack  used.  Many  of  the  farmers 
doubting  ihc  necessity  of  these  requirements  and 
restive  under  their  enforcement,  unless  there  was 
good  reason  for  it,  demanded  of  the  association  an 
authoritative  opinion  as  to  the  comparative  value  of 
the  ditVerent  brands  used  by  them.  The  only  reli- 
able proof  was  the  scientific  test,  and  the  matter 
was  accordingly  given  in  charge  to  two  analytical 
chemists  of  high  standing  in  the  city  of  New  York, 
who  entered  upon  their  duties  without  any  confer- 
ence with  parties  at  Syracuse,  and  without  any 
knowledge  of  the  localities  where  the  several 
samples  were  prepared.  These  were  given  them  by 
numbers  and  not  by  name,  and  the  result  was  the 
above  report,  which  I  have  copied  in  their  own 
language   and   figures.      This  report  is  certainly 


gratifying  to  the  friends  of  the  home  article,  as 
showing  a  larger  percentage  of  the  pure  chloride  of 
sodium  or  salt,  and  a  less  aggregate  of  impurities 
in  the  two  samples  of  Onondaga  salt  than  in  either 
of  the  eight  samples  of  foreign  salt  analyzed." 

The  following  is  a  statement  of  the  number  of 
bushels  of  salt  made  at  the  Onondaga  Salt  Springs 
since  June  20,  1797,  which  is  the  date  of  the  first 
leases  of  lots,  with  the  Superintendents  and  their 
respective  terms  of  ofBce  : 


<8J4. 
!!■<(. 

1''!-. 
1 '  ( - . 

ISiV. 
IS'. 

ly.i. 

■  Mil. 

■  861. 
iMh. 

■  86s. 
iM/i 
iSft;. 
iS/jX. 

■  869. 
I»7C. 
I»TI. 

•8:«. 

1871. 
IB74. 
1875. 
•»7*i 


Dale. 

Superinlcndentt. 

■  T 

William  Steven*. 

179». 

do 

"7W- 

do 

ISoo. 

do 

ISOI. 

Sheldon  Loan, 
AUL  Danfortn, 

1801. 

iSo). 

do 

1804. 

do 

1805. 

Wm.  Kirkpllrick, 

1806. 

do 

ISO?. 

P.   H   Riri^nm, 

1808. 

Nr 

1809. 

^v.  .       ,.; 

IS  10. 

1811. 

do 

1811. 

do 

1811. 

do 

iSi*. 

do 

I8l(. 

do 

1S16. 

do 

1817. 

do 

1818. 

do 

1819. 

do 

1810. 

do 

18x1. 

do 

isxa. 

do 

iSll. 

d.i 

'"^4 

do 

li-ii. 

d<; 

IS  if.. 

do 

1 8 17. 

do 

I818. 

do 

ISK;, 

do 

1810, 

do 

l!l|l. 

N.  H.  E*rU, 

iSll. 

do 

181). 

do 

1814. 

do 

18|!. 

do 

18)6. 

Rial  Wright, 

18)-. 

do 

18|8. 

do 

IS);. 

do 

184^. 

rhomas  Spencer, 

1841. 

do 

1S4». 

do 

184I. 

Rial  Wright, 

1844. 

do 

1S4(. 

Enoch  .Marks, 

isV.. 

do 

"^4". 

do 

IS4». 

Robert  Gere, 

1*4* 

do 

1 8  JO. 

do 

iSjI. 

do 

18$V 

Hervey  Rhoadet, 

185). 

do 

SoUr. 


Fine. 


Vivus  W.  .*iniitli. 


do 

do 

do 

do 

do 
I  do 

George  Geddes, 
I  do 

do 

do 

do 

do 
John  M.  Sironc, 

do 

do 
(A.  C  PoweU, 
I  do 

I  do 


Total  lince  1797. 


"N.4"4 
4  .-.in 


41,B69,J98 


»  5.474 
4».7<H, 


75.000 
90,000 
100,000 
i$4.07i| 

«»».J77 
i7S.f4«' 

)I'>,6l8 

lis,  181 

4SC,QOC 

aoo,ooo 
111,011 
116,000 
195,000 1 
!>it05» 
14«,665 
«0«.(S6$ 
4«*,54o; 
54».I74| 

516,049! 

481,561 

7»6.j«8 

8lN6|4 

757,»1 

811,01] 

9*1.410 

l,l«o,i8« 

1,119, 18c 

1,415,446 

1,514.017 

1,651,085 

■,818,646 

■  <94l.>5a 

1,109,867 
i,9ii,8$9 

1,167,1*7 

i,ns.o)i 
1,864.718 


i.N'rt.Is- 

4.:i(.i;; 


5-    . 

4.1 

5>i'       .. 

7,07.-,  bSi, 

6.504,7171 
5,407,711 
4.499.170, 

5,l8o,)lo 

5,in.'.~i 

6.' 

t. 

6,:     .. 

5,V1",4'/* 

6,048,111 

5,768,998 
4.!*1.9!» 
4.5i],49i  I 
).o8),99«' 


A(gtente 
bukheli. 

iS.4-4 

5'^V" 

41.7<:4 

50,000 

61,000 

75.000 

90,000 

100,000 

154.071 

•11,577 

175.448 

)io,6ih 

118,181 

45C.OOO 

100,000 

111,011 

116,000 

195.000 

I11.C58 

,4S,«,, 

40S,'/.! 

4rf'.S4C 

548,174 

45«.1>9 

516,049 

481,561 

716,988 

816,6)4 

757.10) 

811,01) 

918,410 

1,160,888 

1,119,180 

1,415.446 

l,514.°)7 

1,651.9*5 

1,8)8,646 

1,941,151 

l,109,V,- 

l,9ll,>i!8 

1,167.1s- 

1,575.<:|) 

1.864.-IS 


(.-'■i.HS 
!.*!>. S!l 
),v5I.i55 
4,"l-.'l'' 
S.cS),!'i9 
4,168.919 
4.''I4,117 

4. yll.CI I 


4,)ll,ll6 

-      II. 119 
1, 171 

;.i4- 

.  -,)91 
9.-^5 1,S74 
7.941.  )8 1 
7.)78.814 
6,J«5.VK 
7,15«.<) 


b,)-4,',i'' 
7.9K.VJS 
7'46<:.I5- 
6.C19,)C.: 
7.'7V.44'> 
5.)9'.'J-7 


108,017,667 ,  149,887,165 


*  Preirioui  10  1841  the  >oUr  salt  wat  not  reported  leidrate,  but  included  in  ib« 
aggregate  production. 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


55 


T 


CHAPTER  Xni. 

Topography  of  Onondaga  County. 

HE  county  of  Onondaga  is  nearly  in  the 
geographical  center  of  the  State.  It  is 
bounded  north  by  Oswego,  east  by  Madison,  south 
by  Cortland,  and  west  by  Cayuga  county.  Its 
general  form  is  that  of  a  rectangular  parallelogram, 
having  its  lines  in  conformity  with  the  cardinal 
points  of  the  compass,  the  northeast  corner  being 
somewhat  rounded  by  Oneida  Lake  and  the  south- 
west by  Skaneateles  Lake.  From  north  to  south 
the  average  width  is  thirty  miles,  from  east  to  west 
twenty-si.x  miles  ;  having  an  area  exclusive  of  lakes 
of  459,229  acres.  The  county  is  divided  into  the 
towns  of  Lysander,  Clay,  Cicero,  Elbridge,  Van 
Buren,  Salina,  DeWitt,  Manlius,  Camillus,  Geddes, 
Skaneateles,  Marcellus,  Onondaga,  Pompey,'  Spaf- 
ford,  Otisco,  LaFayette,  Tully,  Fabius,  and  the  City 
of  Syracuse. 

Most  of  the  surface  of  this  county  slopes  to  the 
north  and  is  drained  into  the  River  St.  Lawrence, 
but  the  summit  of  the  highlands  that  divide  the 
waters  that  flow  north  from  those  that  run  south, 
and  find  their  way  by  the  Susquehanna  River  to  the 
sea,  is  within  this  county,  though  near  the  south 
boundary  ;  but  a  small  part  of  the  whole  area  being 
drained  to  the  south,  and  that  chiefly  in  the  towns 
of  Fabius  and  Tully. 

About  two-fifths  of  the  whole  surface  of  the 
county  is  flat  and  barely  rolling  enough  to  permit 
drainage.  This  flat  land  constitutes  a  part  of  what 
is  known  as  the  "  great  level,"  which  extends  along 
the  south  side  of  Oneida  Lake  to  the  base  of  the 
slope  of  the  spurs  of  the  Alleghany  Mountains. 
The  Erie  Canal  runs  along  the  south  side  of  this 
level  land.  That  part  of  the  county  lying  south  of 
the  canal,  constituting  about  three-fifths  of  the 
whole,  is  embraced  within  the  northernmost  spurs 
of  the  mountain  ranges,  being  uneven  and  com- 
paratively broken  in  its  surface.  A  traveler  cross- 
ing Onondaga  county  from  east  to  west,  or  from 
west  to  east,  if  his  route  is  on  the  plain,  north  of 
the  highlands,  will  meet  only  slight  hills  and 
hollows,  or  rather  mere  undulations  crossing  his 
course,  and  streams  that  have  their  surface  nearly 
level  with  the  surrounding  land.  But  if  his  route 
be  across  the  line  of  the  hill  slope,  he  will  descend 
into  deep  valleys,  whose  dividing  ridges  are  many 
miles  apart,  and  he  will  have  one  constant  succes- 
sion of  toilsome  descents  and  ascents,  enlivened 
and  rendered  pleasant  by  ever-recurring  points  of 
observation,  from  which  the  most  splendid  scenery 


lies  pictured  before  him.  Hillside,  mountain  top, 
wide  valleys,  lakes  framed  with  forests  and  fields 
of  living  green,  meet  his  gaze  from  the  top  of  every 
eminence  he  passes.  If  he  sees  little  of  the  grand- 
eur of  rock-ribbed  mountains,  he  is  greeted  with 
landscapes  more  mild,  and  of  a  softer  tone,  that 
bespeak  more  fitting  residences  of  men,  and  he  is 
delighted  with  the  reflection  that,  of  all  he  sees, 
there  is  nought  but  combines  the  useful  with  the 
beautiful. 

The  slope  of  the  highlands  is  divided  into  five 
distinct  ridges,  all  having  a  general  north  and  south 
direction.  The  most  eastern  of  them  enters  the 
town  of  Manlius  from  the  east  and  extends  north  to 
the  Erie  Canal.  The  second  ridge  lies  between 
Limestone  and  Butternut  Creeks,  and  forms  the 
highlands  of  Pompey,  part  of  those  of  Manlius, 
LaFayette  and  DeWitt.  The  third  range,  between 
Butternut  and  Onondaga  Creeks,  comprises  the 
highlands  of  the  central  part  of  LaFayette,  the 
west  part  of  DeWitt,  and  the  east  portions  of  Tully 
and  Onondaga,  and  extends  to  the  city  of  Syracuse. 
The  fourth  range,  between  Onondaga  and  Nine 
Mile  Creeks,  comprises  the  highlands  of  Otisco, 
the  west  part  of  Tully,  LaFayette  and  Onondaga, 
and  the  east  parts  of  Marcellus  and  Camillus.  The 
fifth  range,  lying  between  Nine  Mile  and  Skan- 
eateles Creeks,  and  Otisco  and  Skaneateles  Lakes, 
comprises  the  highlands  of  Spafford,  the  west  parts 
of  Marcellus  and  Camillus,  and  the  east  parts  of 
Skaneateles  and  Elbridge. 

The  summits  of  the  valleys  between  these 
ranges  are  in  the  towns  of  Pompey,  Fabius  and 
Tully,  or  south  of  the  county  line.  The  highest 
peaks  of  the  ranges  of  hills  are  in  Spafford,  Pom- 
pey, Otisco  and  and  LaFayette.  The  streams  that 
drain  these  valleys  to  the  south,  are  the  head 
branches  of  the  Tioughnioga  River,  one  of  the 
tributaries  of  the  Susquehanna.  Limestone  and 
Butternut  Creeks  unite  their  waters  and  flow  into 
the  Chittenango,  a  few  miles  before  that  stream  en- 
ters Oneida  Lake.  Onondaga  and  Nine  Mile 
Creeks  run  into  Onondaga  Lake.  The  Skaneateles 
crosses  into  Cayuga  county  just  before  it  discharges 
its  waters  into  the  Seneca  River.  Seneca  River 
enters  the  west  part  of  the  county  from  Cross  Lake, 
flowing  between  the  towns  of  Elbridge  and  Lysan- 
der, and  along  the  northern  bounds  of  Van  Buren 
and  Geddes,  to  within  less  than  half  a  mile  of  On- 
ondaga Lake,  where  it  receives  the  outlet  of  that 
body  of  water  ;  then  turning  north,  it  runs  along 
the  west  line  of  Clay  to  Three  River  Point,  where 
it  receives  the  Oneida  River.  At  this  place  the 
combined  waters  take  the  name  of  Oswego  River, 


56 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


which  empties  into  Lake  OnUrio  in  the  city  of 
Oswego. 

These  various  streams  and  bodies  of  water,  with 
their  tributaries,  arc  so  evenly  distributed  over  the 
surface  that  the  whole  county  is  wonderfully  well 
supplied  with  water  for  use  and  with  power  to  drive 
machinery.  Seneca  River  has  a  dam  giving  a  fall 
at  Haldvvinsville  of  eight  feet,  and  another  at 
Phoeni.v.  either  of  which  would  give  sufficient 
power  for  a  large  manufacturing  town.  The  several 
streams  that  flow  through  the  valleys  in  the  south 
part  of  the  county,  fall,  on  an  average,  not  less 
than  eight  hundred  feet ;  after  they  arc  of  sufficient 
size  to  be  useful  in  driving  machinery,  and  at  the 
northeast  corner  of  the  county,  the  united  waters 
of  the  Limestone,  Butternut  and  Chittenango  make 
the  valuable  water  power  at  Bridgeport.  Many 
beautiful  waterfalls  are  formed  by  the  branches 
of  the  principal  streams  as  they  flow  down  the 
sides  of  the  ranges  of  hills  to  the  valleys.  The 
most  noted  of  the  cascades  is  known  as  Pratt's 
Falls. 

Such  is  a  general  outline  of  the  county  of  Onon- 
daga. When  it  was  first  .seen  by  the  race  of  men 
who  now  cultivate  its  soil  and  manage  its  vast  in- 
dustries, it  was  covered  with  one  dense  forest  of 
giant  growth,  excepting  the  few  fields  that  the 
natives  had  subjected  to  their  rude  cultivation. 
What  a  series  of  struggles  with  the  wilderness  and 
with  savage  unsubdued  nature,  is  implied  in  the 
contrast  between  that  primitive  condition  and  the 
present  cultivated  state  of  the  country. 

"Through  the  deep  wilderness  where  scarce  the  sun 
Can  cast  his  darts,  along  the  winding  path 
The  Pioneer  is  treading.     In  his  grasp 
Is  his  keen  ax,  that  wondrous  instrument, 
That  like  the  talisman  transforms 
Deserts  to  fields  and  cities.     He  has  left 
The  home  in  which  his  early  years  were  passed, 
And  led  by  hope,  and  full  of  restless  strength, 
Has  plunged  within  the  forest,  there  to  plant 
His  destiny.     Beside  some  rapid  stream 
He  rears  his  log-built  cabin.     When  the  chains 
Of  Winter  feller  Nature,  and  no  sound 
Disturbs  the  echoes  of  the  dreary  woods, 
Save  when  some  stent  cracks  sharply  with  the  frost ; 
Then  merrily  rings  his  ax,  and  tree  on  tree 
Crashes  to  earth  ;  and  when  the  long,  keen  night 
Mantles  the  wilderness  in  solemn  gloom, 
He  sits  beside  the  ruddy  hearth,  and  hears 
The  fierce  wolf  snarling  at  the  cabin  door. 
Or  through  the  lowly  casement  sees  his  eye 
Gleam  like  a  burning  coal."* 

*  Alfred  B.  Street. 


CHAPTER  XIV. 

Geologv  of  the  Cou.ntv  —  Ci-iNTON  Group  — 
Niagara  Limestone — Onondaga  Salt  Group 
—Water-lime  Group — Oriskanv  Sandstone. 

ONONDAGA  presents  more  features  of  inter- 
est to  the  geologist  than  any  other  county 
of  the  State,  or,  perhaps,  any  like  extent  of  country 
in  the  United  States.  Its  rocks  range  east  and 
west ;  the  order  of  succession  being  constant ;  the 
lowest  being  at  the  northeast  corner  of  the  county, 
and  the  most  recent  at  the  southwest. 

Of  the  New  York  system  of  rocks,  there  outcrop 
in  this  county,  the  Clinton  Group,  Niagara  Lime- 
stone, Onondaga  Salt  Group,  Water-lime  Group, 
Oriskany  Sandstone,  Onondaga  Limestone,  Corni- 
ferous  Limestone,  Seneca  Limestone,  Marccllus 
Shales,  Hamilton  Group,  Tully  Limestone,  Genesee 
Slate,  and  the  lower  measures  of  the  Ithaca  Group. 

These  rocks  are  best  observed  by  commencing 
at  the  northeast  corner  of  the  county  and  moving 
to  the  southwest,  crossing  their  outcrop  nearly  at 
right-angles  and  in  line  of  the  greatest  dip  of  the 
stratification.  The  starting  point  will  be  Oneida 
Lake,  where  the  Clinton  Group  outcrops  ;  the  end 
of  the  journey,  Skaneateles  Lake.  The  elevation 
of  the  starting  point  above  tide  is  369  feet  ;  the 
highest  point  passed  over,  Ripley  Hill,  the  summit 
between  Skaneateles  and  Otisco  Lakes,  and  the 
highest  land  in  the  county,  being  1,982 J  feet  above 
tide.  The  distance,  in  a  direct  line  from  Oneida 
Lake  to  Ripley  Hill,  is  thirty-two  miles. 

The  dip  of  the  system  of  rocks  in  this  direction, 
is  very  nearly  twenty-si.\  feet  to  the  mile,  giving 
for  the  distance  852  feet.  It  is  very  uniform,  and 
is  greatest  in  a  line  a  little  west  of  southwest,  while 
the  general  line  of  the  outcrop  is  nearly  cast  and 
west.  These  rocks  were  deposited  in  that  vast  sea 
that  once  overspread  this  part  of  the  Continent,  all 
of  them  being  sedimentary  and  filled  with  evi- 
dences of  an  abundant  animal  life.  When  they 
were  lifted  above  the  sea  by  those  vast  internal 
forces  that  were  constantly  changing  the  form  of  the 
crust  of  the  earth,  they  were  tilted  from  the  level 
position  in  which  they  had  been  deposited.  The 
point  of  greatest  upheaval  being  far  to  the  northeast 
of  this  county,  only  part  of  one  of  the  slopes  comes 
under  our  observation. 

The  hills  rise  in  a  direction  opposite  to  that  of 
the  dip  of  the  rocks.  The  surface  rising,  in  the 
thirty-two  miles,  over  si.xtecn  hundred  feet,  the  bot- 
tom of  our  lowest  rock  falling  in  the  same  distance 
more  than  eight  hundred  and  fifty-two  feet,  a  sec- 
tion of  these  formations  would  show  a  wedge  2,465 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


57 


feet  thick  at  the  southwest  end,  regular  on  the  lower 
side,  but  on  the  upper  broken  by  unequal  steps,  due 
to  the  varying  thickness  of  the  different  strata. 
The  surface  waters  run  northerly,  while  those  un- 
derneath flow  in  the  opposite  direction.  Springs 
are  not  to  be  looked  for  along  the  unbroken  line  of 
the  outcrop  of  the  rocks,  but  in  the  sides  of  the 
various  valleys  that  cut  this  slope,  at,  or  nearly  at, 
right  angles,  or  on  the  north  sides  of  such  valleys 
as  are  parallel  with  the  line  of  the  outcrop.  Any 
attempt  to  procure  water  by  flowing  artesian  wells 
would  probably  prove  unsuccessful. 

The  rocks  that  outcrop  in  this  county  once  extended 
over  the  present  surface  far  to  the  north,  but  by  the 
action  of  glaciers  and  water,  they  have  been  broken 
down,  ground  up,  and  strewn  along  the  valleys  that 
have  been  scored  out  across  the  line  of  their  present 
outcrop,  and  those  with  which  they  connect,  far 
beyond  the  southern  limits  of  the  county  and  State. 
This  point  will  be  more  fully  discussed  hereafter,  a 
description  of  the  rocks  being  first  necessary. 

Clinton  Group. — The  northernmost  and  lowest 
rock  is  known  as  the  Clinton  Group.  It  is  seen  in 
the  counties  east  and  west  of  this,  underlies  the 
whole  north  line  of  this  county,  and  appears  on  both 
sides  of  the  west  end  of  Oneida  Lake.  "  This 
group  is  characterized  by  its  iron  ore  beds  and  its 
marine  plants."*  The  iron  appears  in  this  county, 
only  in  small  quantities,  the  rock  being  covered  with 
alluvium  except  at  a  few  points.  The  best  place  to 
observe  it  is  near  the  west  end  of  Oneida  Lake,  at 
Brewerton.  There  the  shale  appears  along  the  bank 
of  the  outlet  and  in  the  hill  in  the  village.  The 
north  part  of  the  towns  of  Lysander,  Clay  and 
Cicero  lies  on  this  rock,  and  the  soils  of  these  towns 
are  to  some  extent  made  up  of  the  materials  of 
which  it  is  composed.  Prof  Emmons  says  of  it  that 
its  most  interesting  feature  "  consists  in  the  rapid 
changes  in  the  strata  which  enter  into  its  formation, 
and  which  taken  together  form  a  most  heterogene- 
ous assemblage  of  materials  ;  for  this  reason  the 
group  was  called  in  an  early  stage  of  the  survey, 
the  Protean  Group.  The  formation  consists  of 
layers  and  beds  composed  of  green,  blue  and  brown, 
sandy  and  argillaceous  shales,  alternating  with 
greenish  brown  sandstones,  conglomerates  on  peb- 
bly beds,  and  oolitic  iron  ore.  These  different  kinds 
of  material  rapidly  succeed  each  other.  The  parts 
of  this  formation  which  are  most  persistent  are  the 
green  shales,  whose  color,  however,  inclines  more 
to  blue  than  green  where  they  have  not  been  exposed 
to  weathering.  The  sandstone,  which  is  rather 
harsh,   in   consequence   of    the   preponderance   of 

*  Vanuxum. 
8* 


sharp,  angular  grains,  is  also  greenish  or  greenish 
gray."*  It  rests  on  the  Medina  sandstone,  which 
in  turn  rests  on  the  gray  sandstone  of  Oswego, 
"  which,"  according  to  Emmons,  "  is  identical  with 
the  gray,  thick-bedded  sandstone  of  the  Hudson 
River  series."  These  rocks  furnish  the  material  for 
much  of  the  drift  which  covers  the  north  part  of 
the  county. 

The  Clinton  Group  is  found  in  Ohio,  Pennsylva- 
nia and  Canada.  In  this  State,  according  to  Mr. 
Hall,  it  is  not  more  than  eighty  feet  thick. 

Niagara  Limestone.— Resting  on  the  Clinton 
Group,  and  next  in  order,  we  find  the  Niagara 
Limestone,  so  called  from  its  being  the  rock  which 
forms  the  famous  cataract  of  that  name.  In  Onon- 
daga this  is  a  thin  rock,  thinner  at  the  east  side 
than  at  the  west.  It  crosses  the  east  line  of  the 
county  at  Bridgeport,  forming  a  bar  across  Chitten- 
ango  Creek  and  thus  creating  a  valuable  mill 
power.  It  outcrops  at  various  places  in  the  town 
of  Cicero,  and  on  Mr.  Whiting's  farm,  where  it  is 
extensively  quarried  for  the  valuable  building  stone 
it  aftbrds,  it  presents  a  surface  of  fifteen  acres, 
but  thinly  covered  with  soil.  It  has  been  used  to  a 
limited  extent  for  burning  into  lime.  The  layers 
are  respectively  fourteen,  seven,  three  and  four 
inches  thick.  Below  these  the  courses  are  thin  and 
of  no  value.  The  whole  thickness  at  Whiting's  is 
three  feet.  The  seams  are  frequent,  making  the 
quarry  easy  to  work. 

This  stone  has  been  quarried  at  several  other  points 
along  its  outcrop  to  the  west  line  of  the  county. 
The  most  important  openings  are  north  of  Bald- 
winsvilleand  near  the  northwest  corner  of  the  town 
of  Lysander.  This  rock  contains  "  some  geodes, 
lined  with  rhombic  crystals  of  carbonate  of  lime, 
and  gypsum,  in  small  globular  accretions,  at  Whit- 
ing's quarry."!  "  It  differs  so  much  in  its  appear- 
ance here  from  the  western  geodiferous  limestone  of 
the  lower  falls  of  the  Mississippi  that  it  would  hard- 
ly be  recognized  as  the  same  rock,  if  it  could  not 
be  traced  almost  uninterruptedly  in  its  western 
route  ;  but  it  marks  the  termination  of  the  Ontario 
division,  of  the  State  Reports,  and  is  the  upper 
measure  of  a  distinct  era  in  geological  history, 
whose  importance  cannot  be  well  estimated. "J 

The  Onondaga  Salt  Group  rests  on  the  Niagara 
limestone.  The  lower  part  of  this  formation  is  the 
Red  Shale,  upon  which,  and  in  some  cases  ming- 
ling with  it  is  placed  the  Green  Shale,  the  two  con- 
stituting the  whole  group.  Embraced  within  the 
Green  Shale  are  the  Gypsum  beds,  and  the  ver- 
micular, or  porous  lime  rock.     This  group  is  very 


*  Emmons. 


^  Vanuxum. 


\  Emmons. 


58 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


extensive,  reaching  from  near  the  Hudson  River 
quite  across  the  State.  Ail  the  Gypsum  masses  of 
Western  New  York  are  found  in  it,  and  from  it 
flows  all  the  salt  water  used  for  making  salt  in  On- 
ondaga ami  Cayuga  counties. 

The  Erie  Canal  runs  near  the  line  of  division 
between  the  Red  and  Green  Shales  for  the  whole 
width  of  the  county.  The  level  district  north  of 
the  canal  and  south  of  the  Niagara  outcrop,  is 
nearly  all  based  on  the  Red  Shale,  while  the  slope 
reaching  from  the  canal  to  the  Water-lime  range^ 
on  the  south,  is  principally  made  up  of  the  Green 
Shale.  The  average  width  of  the  Red  Shale  is 
about  seven  miles,  that  of  the  Green  about  three. 
The  Red  Shale,  as  computed  from  the  dip  and 
elevation,  is  three  hundred  and  forty-one  feet  thick 
at  the  line  of  the  Erie  Canal  south  of  Onondaga 
Lake  ;  the  surface  of  that  lake  being  very  nearly 
three  hundred  feet  above  the  Niagara  limestone. 
It  is  generally  covered  with  drift,  composed  of  lime, 
gravel,  sand,  and  small  stones,  made  up  mostly  of 
the  Medina  sandstone,  and  the  gray  sandstones  of 
Oswego  county,  with  occasional  beds  of  clay. 

The  RtuI  Sha/c  is  described  by  Prof  Emmons  as 
properly  a  rcti  marl,  soft  throughout,  except  a  few 
thin  strata  of  sandstone  near  the  top,  but  even  these 
fall  to  pieces  and  cannot  be  employed  at  all  for  pur- 
poses of  construction.  Wherever  it  crops  out  it  is 
covered  with  its  own  debris.  He  determined  that 
one  hundred  grains  of  the  most  sandy  part,  and  the 
same  amount  of  the  softer  kinds,  were  combined 
in  the  following  proportions  : 

Sandy.  Marly. 

Sile.x -.6S.25  68.86 

Pero.xide  of  iron  and  alumina 625  1498 

Magnesia 5.75  0.40 

Carbonate  of  lime 10.25  O-So 

Phosphate  of  alumina,  and  phos- 
phate of  peroxide   of  iron 0000  0.14 

Organic  matter 6.CX3  4.50 

Water i.oo  O.48 

99.50  99.25 

In  some  places  this  Red  Shale  is  so  soft  that  it  is 
extensively  manufactured  into  brick  ;  in  others,  the 
sand  is  in  layers,  having  thin  strata  of  clay  between 
them.  "  Nowhere  has  a  fossil  been  discovered  in 
it,  or  a  pebble,  or  anything  extraneous,  except  a  few 
thin  layers  of  sandstone  and  its  different  colored 
shales  and  slate."* 

Owing  to  whirls  and  eddies  in  those  surges 
which  beat  down  and  ground  up  these  rocks, 
numerous  conical  shaped  hills,  generally  somewhat 
longer  from  north  to  south  than  from  east  to  west, 
and  differing  in  sire  from  a  few  acres  to  several 

*  Vanuium. 


hundred,  have  been  dotted  over  the  surface  of  the 
western  part  of  this  formation  like  hay  cocks  in  a 
meadow.  The  largest  one  is  north  of  the  valley  of 
Nine  Mile  Creek.  The  Erie  Canal  passes  around  it 
on  the  south  and  the  Central  Railroad  on  the  north. 
It  is  two  hundred  feet  in  height,  containing  about 
a  thousand  acres  of  drift,  and  so  level  is  the  plain 
on  which  it  stands,  that  a  canal  without  a  lock 
might  surround  it.  These  drift  hills  also  abound 
in  the  district  embraced  by  the  Green  Shales,  but 
the  transported  stones  which  cover  them  have  a 
greater  proportion  of  granite  boulders  of  large  size. 

Gypseous  or  Green  Shales,  Containing  the 
Beds  of  Gvj'SU.m. — Immediately  upon,  and  united 
with  the  Red  Shales,  we  find  the  plaster-bearing. 
Green  Shales.  The  line  of  division  is  not  well 
determined, — the  red,  green,  and  yellow  colored, 
with  some  of  a  blue  cast,  intermingle  for  a  few  feet 
in  thickness.  The  color  of  this  upper  measure  of 
the  salt  group  is  variable  through  its  whole  thick- 
ness, being  sometimes  nearly  white,  then  drab,  but 
it  has  received  its  name  from  the  prevailing  green. 
A  better  name  would  be  the  Gypseous  Shales,  as  the 
term  Green  Shales  is  sometimes  applied  to  portions 
of  the  Clinton  Group.  In  the  Gypseous  Shale  large 
masses  are  found  that  Prof  Eaton  called  vermicular 
lime  rock.  This  rock  is  essentially  calcarious,  strong- 
ly resembling  porous  or  cellular  lava.  In  color, 
it  is  a  dark  gray  or  blue  rock,  perforated  everywhere 
with  curvilinear  holes,  but  very  compact  between 
the  holes.  These  holes  vary  from  microscopic  to 
half  an  inch  in  diameter.  They  are  generally  very 
irregular,  and  communicate  in  most  instances  with_ 
each  other. 

The  resemblance  of  no  small  part  of  the  rock  to 
lava  is  perfect ;  but  the  structure  of  the  cells  leaves 
no  doubt  as  to  their  mineral  origin.  The  cells  show 
that  parts  of  the  rock  were  disposed  to  separate 
into  thin  layers  which  project  into  cells,  evidently 
the  result  of  the  simultaneous  forming  of  the  rock, 
and  of  a  soluble  mineral,  whose  removal  caused  the 
cells  in  question.  This  view  is  confirmed  by  the 
discovery  in  this  rock  of  those  forms  which  are  due 
to  common  salt,  showing  that  a  soluble  saline  min- 
eral had  e.xisted  in  it,  had  acquired  shape  in  the  rock, 
and  had  subsequently  been  dissolved,  leaving  a  cav- 
ity or  cavities."*  There  are  two  masses  of  this 
vertniciilar  rock — one  low  down,  of  about  twenty  feet 
in  thickness,  appearing  on  James  street,  Syracuse, 
and  at  various  other  places ;  the  upper  mass  is  thin- 
ner ;  but  its  thickness  is  not  uniform.  In  tne  lower 
mass,  on  James  street,  are  some  specimens  of  crys- 
talline character,  being  serpentines,  the  action  of 


Vanuxum. 


II 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


59 


crystallization  having  been  local,  producing  selenite 
sometimes  erroneously  called  mica. 

Between  the  two  layers  of  vermicular  limestone 
are  the  hopper-formed  masses.  Perhaps  these  hop- 
per-formed rocks  possess  more  interest  for  the  geol- 
ogist than  any  other  part  of  the  group;  because  they 
are  supposed  to  furnish  proof  of  the  origin  of  the 
salt  water,  of  so  much  importance  to  the  industry 
of  this  part  of  the  State.  These  forms  are  pro- 
duced, it  is  asserted,  by  the  crystallization  of  salt 
before  the  hardening  of  clay.  The  supposition 
being  that  while  the  whole  mass  was  in  the  form  of 
mud,  having  a  large  quantity  of  dissolved  salt  mixed 
with  it,  the  salt,  (in  precisely  the  same  manner 
observable  in  the  process  of  the  manufacture  of 
solar  salt,)  was  attracted  particle  to  particle,  and 
assumed  the  form  of  a  hopper,  the  mud  filling 
it  up;  then,  by  the  action  of  water  falling 
on  the  surface  and  percolating  through  the  mass 
that  had  become  full  of  cracks  in  the  pro- 
cess of  drying,  the  salt  was  dissolved  and  carried 
down  upon  the  more  compact  strata  below,  and  by 
the  dip  of  the  strata  carried  into  rather  than  out  of, 
the  hill.  No  other  common  soluble  mineral  present- 
ing similar  forms,  and  the  fact  that  all  our  saltwater 
is  found  below,  and  near  these  hopper-formed  rocks, 
give  great  force  to  this  theory.  The  absence  of 
salt  around  these  hopper-formed  rocks  is  accounted 
for  by  their  being  so  near  the  surface  that  the  rains 
must  long  ago  have  carried  it  away.  If  an  e.xcava- 
tion  were  made  further  south,  where  the  overlying 
rocks  are  thick  enough  to  protect  the  salt-bearing 
rocks  from  the  action  of  water,  undissolved  salt 
might  be  found. 

Prof  Emmons  gives  the  composition  of  the  hop- 
per-formed masses  as  follows  : 

Water  of  absorption .56 

Organic  matter 500 

Silex  .__„ 34-5<5 

Carbonate  of  lime 43  06 

Alumina  and  protoxide  of  iron 13-36 

Sulphate  of  lime i.oo 

Magnesia 2.17 


99,71 


Besides  the  minerals  described  as  being  in,  and 
belonging  to  this  shale,  we  have  yet  to  mention  the 
beds  of  gypsum.  This  valuable  mineral  is  found  in 
various  places  in  the  upper  parts  of  the  Salt  Group, 
throughout  the  whole  county.  It  is  extensively 
quarried  in  the  towns  of  Manlius,  DeWitt,  On- 
ondaga, Camillus  and  Elbridge.  The  largest 
openings  are  in  the  town  of  DeWitt,  north  east 
from  Jamesville.  It  is  here  found  in  masses 
more    than    thirty    feet    thick,    of   an    excellent 


quality,  and  is  sold  on  the  bank  of  the  canal,  some- 
times, at  less  than  one  dollar  per  ton.  Some  very 
valuable  quarries  are  worked  in  the  town  of  Camil- 
lus. The  railroad  cutting  along  the  valley  of  Nine 
Mile  Creek  exposes  large  masses.  The  whole  thick- 
ness of  the  gypseous  shale  is  295  feet. 

One  hundred  grains  in  six  ounces  of  rain  water, 
yield,  of  the  debris  of  the  shale,  6.53,  of  which  1.03 
is  vegetable  matter,  and  5.50  saline.  Prof  Emmons 
gives  an  analysis  of  the  water  of  Mr.  Geddes'  well 
at  Fairmount,  which  receives  its  water  throuch  a 
seam  in  the  vermicular  lime  rock,  as  follows  : 

One  quart  evaporated  slowly  to  dryness,  the  last 
part  of  the  process  being  performed  in  a  platinum 
capsule,  gave 

Solid  matter S.72 

Organic  matter 1.44 

Saline 7.25 

"The  water  of  the  Hydrant  Company,  which 
supplies  Syracuse,  contains  forty  grains  of  saline 
matter  to  the  gallon.  It  consists  of  thechlorides  of 
sodium  and  calcium,  sulphates  of  lime  and  alumina, 
with  some  organic  matter."*^  The  springs  that  are 
discharged  from  these  rocks  deposit  tufa.  Only  a 
few  fossils  are  found  in  the  upper  part  of  the 
Gypseous  Shales.  Prof  Hall  assigns  the  rocks 
composing  the  salt  group  to  a  mud  volcano  that 
was  "  charged  with  saline  matter  and  corroding 
acids  which  would  alone  destroy  all  organism." 
Vanuxum  says  that  the  salt  group  as  a  whole 
presents  the  same  order  of  saline  deposits,  includ- 
ing iron,  observed  in  the  salt  vats  where  solar 
evaporation  is  carried  on.  The  first  deposit  in  the 
vats  is  ferruginous,  being  red  oxide  of  iron,  and 
staining  of  a  red  color  whatever  it  falls  upon  ;  the 
next  deposit  which  takes  place  is  the  gypsum  ;  the 
third  is  the  common  salt,  the  magnesian  and  cal- 
cium chlorides  remaining  in  solution.  The  group 
shows  first  a  thick  mass,  colored  red  with  iron,  be- 
ing its  Red  Shale  ;  above  which  are  the  gypseous 
masses  ;  towards  the  upper  part  of  which  are  the 
salt  cavities  ;  the  sulphate  of  magnesia  exists  above 
the  whole  of  these  deposits,  its  existence  there  be- 
ing manifested  by  the  needle-form  cavities. 

Water  lime  is  the  name  given  to  the  next  group 
of  rocks.  It  rests  on  the  Gypseous  S/iales,  and  is  in 
all  127  feet  thick.  The  lower  measures  are  irregu- 
lar in  their  formation,  having  uneven  beds,  with 
layers  of  varying  thickness.  This  part  of  the  rock 
is  used  mostly  for  farm  fences,  to  which  purpose  it 
is  well  adapted,  resisting  the  action  of  frost,  and 
being  so  thin  as  to  require  little  skill  in  laying,  mak- 
ino-    it   the    most    durable    fence    known.      That 

^  Emmons. 


Oo 


HIST  DRY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


part  used  for  making  cenicnt  is  on  the  top,  and  con-  ' 
sists  of  two  layers  from  three  to  four  feet  thick. 
"  Color  drab,  dull  in  its  fracture,  and  com|X)sed  of 
minute  grains  with  usually  but  few  lines  of  division. 
The  up|)er  of  these  courses  burns  more  easily  than 
the  lower.  When  burned,  it  is  ground  fine  and 
mixed  with  sand  —  one  part  of  lime  to  from  two  to 
six  parts  of  sand,  according  to  its  quality  and  the 
speed  with  which  it  is  desirable  the  cement  should 
set.  Owing  to  its  proi)erty  of  preserving  its  form 
and  hardening  under  water,  it  is  used  with  stone  or 
brick  in  the  construction  of  cisterns,  and  without 
any  other  substance  but  sand,  for  i)ipcs  for  conduct- 
ing water  from  springs.  Such  is  its  strength  that  a 
cylinder  of  pure  cement  and  sand,  six  inches  in  diam- 
eter, of  one  inch  calibre,  buried  three  feet  in  the 
ground,  after  some  years  became  closed  at  the  lower 
end,  and  the  pipe  sustained  the  pressure  of  a  column 
of  water  forty  feet  in  height.  The  best  practical 
tests  for  persons  unskilled  in  judging  of  the  quality 
of  this  lime  for  cement,  are  :  The  stone  when  burned 
must  not  slake  on  the  application  of  water ;  when 
ground,  the  cement  must  set  quickly  on  being  wet ; 
keep  its  form  under  water,  and  harden  till  it  becomes 
as  hard  as  a  well  burnt  brick.  It  is  sometimes  in- 
jured by  being  burned  too  much,  and  very  often  it 
is  not  ground  fine  enough.  Mr.  Delafield  says  of 
water  lime:  "If  it  contains  twenty  per  cent  of  clay, 
it  will  slake,  but  will  also  cement.  If  it  contains  an 
amount  of  clay  equal  to  thirty  per  cent  it  will  not 
slake  well,  nor  heat,  but  forms  an  excellent  cement." 
Sanzin,  in  his  work  on  Civil  Engineering  (p  20)  says  : 
"  Being  master  of  the  proportions  of  hydraulic  lime, 
we  can  give  any  degree  of  energy  required  Common 
lime  will  bear  even  twenty  per  cent  of  argile ;  medium 
lime  —  that  is,  that  which  is  a  mean  between  com- 
mon and  meagre  lime —  will  take  from  five  to  fifteen 
per  cent  of  argile.  When  we  augment  the  quantity 
to  forty  parts  of  clay  to  one  hundred  of  lime,  the 
lime  does  not  slake,  the  mixture  is  pulverant,  and 
when  moistened,  it  becomes  solid,  immediately,  when 
immersed  into  water."  The  Onondaga  Water-lime 
is  simply  an  impure  lime,  having  clay  enough  in  it 
to  make  it  resist  the  action  of  water.  Large  quan- 
tities of  hydraulic  cement  arc  manufactured  from 
our  rocks  and  sent  in  barrels  wherever  required. 

There  are  some  courses  of  this  group  known  by 
the  local  name  of  blue  lime,  which  being  too  pure  in 
lime  for  cement,  are  burnt  for  quick  lime,  and  are 
also  used  (or  building  purposes.  Six  varieties  of 
fossils  found  in  it,  are  represented  in  the  State  Re- 
ports. 

Localities. — About  three-fourths  of  a  mile  south- 
west of  the  village  of  Manlius,  this  rock  forms  the 


"falls"  in  Limestone  Creek.  "The  lower  layers 
contain  a  large  proportion  of  ordinary  lime,  free 
from  all  accretions  of  a  silicious  nature,  and  there- 
fore make  a  first  quality  of  lime."  The  most  exten- 
sive exposure  of  water-lime  is  about  a  mile  south  of 
the  village  of"  Manlius,  at  Brown's  saw  mill.  But- 
ternut Creek,  below  Jamesville,  near  Dunlop's  mill, 
exposes  it  in  large  quantities.  It  is  also  found  in 
Onondaga  Valley  and  Split  Rock  quarry,  where  it 
appears  in  the  face  of  the  precipice  all  along  for 
miles.  The  only  additional  localities  necessary  to 
mention  are  the  crossing  of  Nine  Mile  Creek  and 
Skaneateles  Creek,  over  the  rocks.  The  width  of 
surface  underlaid  by  water-lime  varies  constantly  ; 
small  outliers,  in  some  places,  extend  over  the  gyp- 
seous group,  but  in  many  places  the  outcrop  is  pre- 
cipitous. On  the  whole,  perhaps,  the  average  width 
of  land  on  the  outcrop  is  not  more  than  a  quarter 
of  a  mile. 

Okiska.w  Sandstone. — This  rock,  which  lies 
next  above  the  water  lime,  is  of  variable  thickness 
in  this  county,  owing  to  the  uneven  surface  upon 
which  it  was  deposited.  At  Manlius  it  is  but  a  few 
inches  in  thickness,  while  to  the  southwest  of  the 
village  of  Onondaga  Valley  it  is  seven  feet,  and  at 
Split  Rock  there  is  only  a  trace  to  be  seen.  Again  it 
thickens,  and  on  the  road  from  Elbridgc  to  Skane- 
ateles it  is  about  thirty  feet  thick.  This  sandstone, 
with  some  exceptions,  consists  of  medium  sized 
quartz  sand,  such  as  is  derived  from  the  primary 
rocks.  The  fossils  are  interesting,  and  may  be 
found  represented  in  the  State  Reports.  Some  of 
this  stone  from  the  Skaneateles  quarries  was  used 
in  constructing  locks  when  the  Erie  Canal  was  first 
made,  and  was  found  to  wear  very  well.  It  is  used 
in  the  vicinity  of  the  quarry  for  various  structures. 


CHAPTER  XV. 
Geologv  Continued  —  Onondaga  Limestone — 

COKNIFEKOUS    LiMKSTONE — SeNECA    LIMESTONE 

— Makcellus  Shales  —  Hamilton  Group — 
TuLLV  Limestone — Genesee  Slate — Ithaca 
Gkoup. 

ONONDAGA  LIMESTONE.— The  next  in 
the  ascending  order  is  the  Onondaga  lime- 
stone, reaching  in  a  well  defined  wall  across  the  1 
county,  and  easily  traced  from  the  Hclderberg  near 
Albany  to  Lake  Erie.  This  rock  may  be  easily 
recognized  by  its  many  fossils,  its  gray  color,  crys- 
talline structure  and  toughness.  "  It  abounds  in 
smooth  encrinal  stems  wiuinites  lavis)  which  is 
found  only  in  this  rock  in  the  State  ;  some  of  these 


II 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


6i 


stems  are  about  an  inch  in  diameter,  and  usually 
they  are  over  half  an  inch.  In  almost  all  cases 
they  are  replaced  by  lamellar  carbonate  of  lime."* 

At  Split  Rock,  where  it  is  extensively  quarried, 
it  is  twenty-four  feet  thick.  Its  power  to  resist  the 
action  of  air,  water  and  frost  ;  its  strength  and 
ability  to  sustain  great  weight  without  crushing  ; 
the  ease  with  which  it  may  be  worked  ;  its  evenness 
of  texture  and  soundness,  giving  it  capability  of  be- 
ing worked  into  elaborate  mouldings,  (the  Court 
House  in  Syracuse  presenting  a  sample  of  this 
quality  ;)  render  it  the  most  valuable  stone  for 
building  of  any  known  in  this  country.  The  Roch- 
ester Aqueduct  and  other  principal  structures  on 
the  enlarged  Erie  and  Oswego  Canals  in  this 
vicinity,  have  been  made  from  this  stone.  It  is  used 
as  a  marble,  bearing  a  hfgh  polish,  and  presenting  a 
beautiful  appearance  when  so  polished  as  to  bring 
out  the  fossils  perfectly.  It  is  generally  nearly  pure 
lime,  and  when  burned,  will,  in  the  process  of  slaking, 
so  increase  in  bulk  that  two  parts  become  five. 

Its  analysis  by  Lewis  C.  Beck,  gives 

Carbonate  of  lime 99-30 

Oxide  of  iron .20 

Insoluble  matter,  (sillica  and  alumina.) .40 

99,90 
The  slaked  lime  is  of  purest  white.  This  rock 
forms  terraces  in  some  places,  in  others  it  presents 
perpendicular  walls  for  its  whole  thickness.  The 
two  most  marked  precipices  are,  the  one  at  Split 
Rock,  and  the  other  northwest  of  Jamesville,  near 
one  of  the  Green  Lakes.  The  top  of  the  precipice 
at  Split  Rock  is  810  feet  above  tide.  Very  little  of 
the  surface  is  exposed,  the  overlying  rock  in  most 
places  covering,  and  extending  to,  and  forming  part 
of,  the  perpendicular  precipice  before  referred  to. 
The  local  name  is  gray  lime.  The  directions  of  the 
vertical  joints  of  this  rock  are  N.  33  to  35  degrees 
E.,and  S.  55  to  57  degrees  E.,  dividing  the  benches 
into  convenient  size  for  working.  The  surface 
shows  slight  scratches,  running  north  and  south. 
"  The  lower  ledges  of  the  limestone  frequently  con- 
tain black  pebbles  whose  water-worn  character 
admits  of  no  doubt.  When  fractured  they  show 
identity  with  the  sandstone  nodules  or  accretions 
found  in  the  Oriskany  sandstone."* 

CoRNiFEROUs  LiMESTONE. — Next  above,  and  ly- 
ing on  the  Onondaga,  are  the  Corniferous  and 
Seneca  Limestones,  which  are  divided  in  the  State 
Reports  merely  because  the  upper  measures  have 
a  fossil  \  Stmphoinena  Lincata)  not  found  below. 
The  line  of  division  between  the  Helderberg  series 
and  the  next  above  is  determined  by  these  fossils. 

*  Vanuxum. 


Corniferous  is  the  name  given  to  this  limestone 
by  Prof  Eaton  in  his  survey  of  the  Erie  Canal, 
from  its  containing  flint  or  horn  stone  in  nodules 
arranged  in  parallel  layers.  The  lime  furnished  by 
this  rock  is  not  pure,  especially  the  lower  layers  ; 
the  upper,  or  what  is  called  Seneca  limestone,  is 
extensively  quarried  at  Marcellus,  showing  vertical 
joints  and  giving  nearly  square  corners.  The 
courses  at  the  top  of  the  quarry  are  about  seven 
inches  thick  and  lie  immediately  below  the  Black 
Shales  ;  lower  down  they  are  thicker.  The  Corni- 
ferous limestone  may  be  traced  by  its  outcrop  all 
the  way  through  the  county,  the  top  of  the  rock 
sometimes  barely  covered  with  earth,  presenting 
plateaus  which  slope  to  the  south  and  west  in  the 
direction  of  the  dip.  Near  Manlius  village,  west  of 
Jamesville,  and  north  of  Onondaga  Hill,  these  plains 
are  widest.  The  general  width  of  this  exposure  of 
Corniferous  and  Seneca  Limestone  is  less  than  half 
a  mile.  At  Split  Rock  it  is  849  feet  above  tide, 
and  is  forty  feet  thick.  With  it  terminates  the 
Helderberg  division. 

Marcellus  Shales  is  the  name  given  to  the 
black  rock  that  rests  on  the  Helderberg  range.  "  It 
is  characterized  by  its  color  and  by  exhaling  a 
bituminous  odor  when  rubbed.  It  is  a  slate,  thin- 
bedded  and  easily  broken,  and  disintegrates  rapidly 
under  the  action  of  water  and  frost.  The  silico- 
argillaceous  matter  predominates  over  the  calcari- 
ous.  There  is  sufficient  lime  to  effervesce  with 
mineral  acids.  The  lower  part  of  the  rock  is  more 
highly  charged  with  lime  than  the  upper."*  It 
contains  small  particles  of  coal,  and  many  excava- 
tions have  been  made  in  it  in  the  hope  of  finding 
this  valuable  mineral  in  sufficient  quantities  to 
make  the  mining  profitable.  These  excavations  are 
no  longer  made,  and  the  general  spread  of  geologi- 
cal knowledge  has  taught  the  public'  that  there  is 
no  hope  of  finding  coal  in  this  rock  in  remunera- 
tive quantities.  Its  peculiar  fossil  is  the  Marce/ltis 
Goniatite,  which,  with  some  others,  is  represented 
in  the  State  Reports.  It  also  abounds  in  oval  bodies 
called  Seftaria,  which  are  impure  limestone,  the 
materials  of  which  were  deposited  along  with  the 
shaly  matter  ;  but,  in  consequence  of  the  play  of 
affinities,  the  calcarious  part  separated  from  the 
oreat  mass  of  shaly  matter,  and  the  molecules  com- 
bined to  form  the  bodies  under  consideration.  Dur- 
ing the  process  of  drying,  the  argillo-calcarious 
matter  shrinks  and  cracks,  forming  thereby  septa, 
which  are  subsequently  filled  by  infiltration,  either 
with  calcite  or  the  sulphate  of  barytes  or  stron- 
tian."t     At  Manlius,  a  black  limestone,  from  five  to 


*Emmons. 


\  Emmons. 


62 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


ten  feet  thick,  is  found  in  the  midst  of  the  shales. 
It  is  weathered  out  into  extremely  rough  masses,  so 
that  the  persons  who  worked  it  usually  called  it 
"chawtd rock'.'  Its  composition  docs  not  difl'er  ma- 
terially from  that  of  the  Septaria,  and  w  ill  increase  in 
value  and  im()ortance  when  it  is  known  that  these 
masses  make  the  true  Roman  Cement.* 

There  is  a  /iiii/(  in  the  rock  about  a  mile  west  of 
Manlius  village.  It  is  quite  local.  At  Marcellus 
numerous  sink  holes  exist  in  the  underlying  stones, 
into  which  portions  of  the  upper  masses  have  fallen. 
This  shale  is  said  to  be  thicker  in  Onondaga  County 
than  anywhere  else,  forming  throughout  the  base  of 
the  next  group,  between  which  and  the  one  now 
under  consideration  no  well  defined  line  of  division 
has  yet  been  observed.  The  Marcellus  Shales,  in 
addition  to  lime,  contain  carbonate  of  magnesia. 

The  line  between  the  rocks  denominated  in  the 
State  Reports  Marcrllus  and  Hamilton  Shales,  is  not 
easily  determined  except  by  an  examination  of  the 
fossils.  As  we  ascend  the  sloj)e  the  rocks  become 
more  sandy,  lose  their  color  and  slaty  character, 
until  we  find  ourselves  upon  those  which  arc  in  the 
main  silicious.  containing  very  little  calc.irions  or 
magnesian  matter. 

IIamii,to.v  Group. — "This  group  abounds  in  fos- 
sils, such  as  shells,  corals,  trilobites,  fucoids,  and  a 
few  plants  resembling  those  of  marine  origin.  In 
organic  remains  it  is  the  most  prolific  of  all  the  New 
York  rocks.  (The  characteristic  ones  are  repre- 
sented in  the  State  Reports.)  It  extends  from  near 
the  Hudson  to  Lake  Erie,  and  consists  of  shale,  slate 
and  sandstone,  with  endless  mixtures  of  these  ma- 
terials They  form  three  distinct  mineral  masses  as 
to  kinds,  but  not  as  to  superposition  or  arrangement, 
though  generally  the  sandy  portion  is  in  the  middle 
of  the  group."*  This  rock,  with  the  Marcellus 
Shales,  covers  a  large  part  of  the  county  south  of 
the  Helderbcrg  range,  appearing  in  the  towns  of 
Manlius.  Pompcy.  Onondaga,  Marcellus,  Skane- 
atcles,  SpalTord,  LaKayette,  Otiscoand  Tully.  The 
thickness  of  the  Marcellus  and  Hamilton  Shales, 
by  computing  the  dip,  is  fy()\  feet.  The  top  of  the 
group,  at  a  point  east  of  and  near  Skaneatclcs  Lake, 
is  1 ,  1 1 1  feet  above  tide.  The  two  points  from  which 
this  calculation  is  made,  —  one  of  them  being  near 
the  north  east  corner  of  lot  83  of  the  town  of  On- 
ondaga, the  other  on  the  east  side  of  Skaneatclcs 
Lake,  —  are  distant  from  each  other  sixteen  and  a 
half  miles  in  a  direct  line.  The  whole  surface  em- 
braced in  this  distance  is  cut  into  deep  valleys  run- 
ning nearly  north  and  south,  and  at  the  crossing  of 
every  stream  that  flows  down  the  slopes,  the  rocks 

•  Vinuium. 


are  exposed  in  steep  precipices.  In  many  places 
they  are  denuded  of  their  own  debris,  and  as  a  result 
vegetation  is  comparatively  stinted. 

The  Tfi.LV  Limesto.nf.  rests  on  the  Hamilton 
Group  and  marks  the  line  of  division  between  it  and 
the  Genesee  Slates.  This  rock  varies  from  fourteen 
to  twenty  feet  in  thickness.  It  is  an  impure,  fine- 
grained limestone,  "dark  or  blackish  blue,  breaking 
into  irregular  fragments,  owing  to  the  particles  of 
carbonate  of  lime  separating  from  a  mixed  mass  of 
innumerable  points.  It  makes  a  good  but  not  white 
lime."*  It  is  the  most  southern  mass  of  limestone 
in  the  State.  There  are  two  fossils  wholly  peculiar 
to  it — the  Cuboidal  Atrypa,  and  the  Tully  Ortliis — 
which  are  represented  in  the  State  Reports.  This 
rock  is  seen  on  the  west  side  of  the  Delphi  \'allcy 
and  at  Tinker's  Falls,  near  the  county  line,  "  where 
the  water  flows  over  the  rock  about  fifty  feet,  which 
projects  ten  or  fit'teen  feet  beyond  the  shale  beneath 
it.  The  usual  fossils  are  present."  It  also  appears 
at  various  points  in  the  town  of  Tully,  from  which 
it  takes  its  name.  On  the  west  side  of  the  valley 
of  Onondaga  Creek  and  in  the  vicinity  of  Vesper, 
it  has  been  burned  for  lime.  It  underlies  nearly  the 
whole  of  the  town  of  Otisco.  The  valley  of  Otisco 
Lake  cuts  it,  the  outcrop  being  seen  on  both  sides 
of  the  lake.  About  a  mile  south  of  Horodino,  in 
the  town  of  Spaflbrd,  it  presents  a  bold  wall  from 
which  stone  for  lime  and  building  has  been  taken. 
The  line  of  the  outcrop  is  easily  traced  along  the 
east  side  of  Skaneatclcs  Lake,  from  this  point  till 
the  county  line  is  passed.  This  rock  probably 
underlies  and  makes  the  floor  of  Cortland  Valley  for 
a  great  distance  south.  The  most  northerly  point 
at  which  it  appears  is  in  the  northeast  corner  of  the 
town  of  Otisco  ;  but  from  the  elevation  of  the  town 
of  Pompcy,  it  must  underlie  a  considerable  portion 
of  that  town,  although  it  is  so  covered  with  soil  that 
it  cannot  be  seen.  The  Tully  limestone  terminates 
all  those  deposits  in  which  calcarious  matter  forms 
an  essential  part. 

The  Ge.nesee  Slate  resting  on  the  Tully  lime- 
stone, underlies  and  forms  the  hills  and  most  of  the 
soils  in  the  south  part  of  the  towns  of  Pompcy, Fabius, 
Tully,  Otisco  and  Spaflbrd.  Vanuxum  says  of  the 
rock.that  it  is  an  argillaceous  fissile  mass,  which,  with 
great  propriety,  might  be  termed  in  English  local 
geological  phraseology,  a  »iud  rock.  The  few  fossils 
it  contains  are  represented  in  the  State  Reports. 
It  may  readily  be  known  by  its  black  color,  slaty 
formation  and  position, — being  between  the  Tully 
limestone  and  the  sandstone  flags  of  the  base  of 
the  Ithaca  group. 

•  Vanuxum. 


II 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


63 


The  Ithaca  Group  is  the  last  formation  that 
requires  a  description  in  giving  the  geology  of 
Onondaga  county.  But  a  small  portion  of  the  soil 
is  formed  from  it,  as  it  merely  appears  on  the  tops 
of  the  highest  hills.  Vanuxum  describes  it  as  "  a 
mass  of  hard,  coarse  shale  and  sandstone,  dark  in 
color,  often  brown  after  exposure,  owing  probably 
to  manganese."  A  characteristic  fossil  is  found 
near,  but  south  of  the  cou^ity  line,  at  Scott's 
Corners,  the  Intcrsiriate  Strophomena,  which  is 
represented  in  the  State  Reports.  Above  these 
rocks,  but  beyond  the  limits  of  this  county,  rise 
the  Chemung,  Catskill,  Old  Red  Sandstone.  Con- 
glomerate and  Coal  Measures,  all  representing  a 
northern  outcrop,  and  having  a  dip  that  goes  to 
show  that  the  whole  belongs  to  one  upheaval  from 
the  sea,  in  which  these  rocks  that  furnish  the 
material  for  our  soils  were  formed  during  those  vast 
periods  of  time  which  the  Supreme  Being  has 
employed  in  storing  up  these  resources  for  supply- 
ing the  comforts  that  now  surround  man's  happy 
dwelling  places. 

Marl  and  Tufa. — "  Marl  is  a  carbonate  of  lime 
which  has  separated  from  its  solvent  in  water,  the 
latter  preventing  its  particles  from  cohering 
and  allowing  them  to  subside  in  the  state  of  calcari- 
ous  mud.  •  It  is  in  many  cases  constantly  depositing 
from  water  holding  lime  in  solution."*  On  the 
north  side  of  the  Helderberg  range  there  are  exten- 
sive beds  of  marly  tufa  that  are  due  to  the  dissolv- 
ing of  the  calcarious  rocks  of  that  group.  On  the 
south  side  marl  is  found  in  various  places,  due  to 
water  percolating  through  limestone  gravel  that  has 
been  transported  from  the  Helderberg  group.  The 
southern  deposits  are  inconsiderable  when  com- 
pared with  the  great  northern  beds  which  extend, 
nearly  unbroken,  from  east  to  west  across  the  coun- 
ty. The  principal  localities  of  marl,  due  to  drift  de- 
posits, are  in  the  towns  of  Fabius  and  Tully.  In 
both  these  towns  marl  has  been  fashioned  into  the 
form  of  brick,  dried  and  burned  into  lime,  making  a 
very  superior  article  for  finishing  walls,  and  selling 
at  about  twice  the  price  of  lime  burned  from  the 
common  limestone.  The  lakes  of  Tully  are  con- 
stantly depositing  marl.  The  waters  that  supply 
these  lakes  run  through  pebbles  of  limestone  and 
are  thus  charged  with  calcarious  matter,  which  in- 
crusts  every  twig  or  obstruction  that  it  meets. 
Cicero  Swamp  is  a  bed  of  lake  marl.  Onondaga 
and  Cross  Lakes  have  many  feet  of  it  all  over  their 
beds.  The  railroad,  as  it  approaches  the  tunnel  east 
of  Syracuse,  exposes,  by  the  excavation,  a  section 
of  great  interest,  "  showing  in  the  ditch,  clay.  End 

*  Vanuxum. 


two  deposits  of  marl,  which  separate  three  deposits 
of  muck,  with  stumps  and  roots  chiefly  of  tamarack 
and  balsam."*  Southeast  of  the  village  of  DeWitt, 
in  excavating  for  the  canal  feeder,  stumps  were 
found  some  feet  below  the  surface,  showing  that  a 
forest  had  been  destroyed  by  some  rise  in  the  water, 
caused  perhaps  by  a  dam  of  driftwood.  The  trees 
died  and  decayed  to  the  surface  of  the  water,  the 
stumps  being  preserved  by  the  water.  In  time 
the  pond  filled  up  with  alluvium,  and  again  there 
was  a  forest  of  cedars.  In  the  swamp  north  of  the 
canal,  in  the  town  of  Van  Buren,  there  is  an  ex- 
tensive deposit  of  marl,  and  it  is  found  in  various 
other  places,  in  some  cases  pure  enough  to  make 
valuable  lime,  and  in  others  so  mixed  with  earth  as 
to  be  merely  a  calcarious  clay. 

There  are  many  places  south  of  the  Helderberg 
range  where  the  springs  deposit  calcarious  matter 
in  the  form  of  tufa.  These  masses  are  constantly 
increasing  as  the  water  flows  over  them,  and  casts 
off"  leaves  and  parts  of  trees  around  them.  Cal- 
carious tufa  is  found  all  along  the  base  of  the 
Helderberg  range  wherever  a  spring  flows  out. 
Below  the  gypseous  rocks  it  is  seen  in  large  masses. 
These  rocks  being  permeable  to  water,  this  fluid 
becomes  charged  with  lime,  and  when  it  appears  on 
the  surface  the  tufa  is  deposited.  The  deposits 
are  numerous  in  the  towns  of  Manlius,  De  Witt 
and  Camillus.  "  Along  Nine  Mile  Creek  it  has 
the  crystalline  character  of  alabaster,  showing  suc- 
cessive layers  also,  and  in  quantity  suitable  for  the 
smaller  purposes  for  which  that  beautiful  substance 
is  used  when  polished."!  Ferruginous  tufa,  stained 
with  hydrate  of  iron,  is  found  two  and  a  half  miles 
northeast  of  Syracuse  in  quite  an  extensive  deposit, 
on  land  formerly  owned  by  Mr.  Wheeler.  There 
is  another  and  similar  one  on  Nine  Mile  Creek 
below  the  village  of  Marcellus.  These  deposits  of 
ferruginous  tufa,  and  a  small  one  of  bog  ore,  on 
the  Oneida  River,  are  due  to  the  decomposition  of 
rocks  containing  iron,  or  are  derived  from  the  soil 
by  the  agency  of  decomposing  vegetable  matter. 
In  the  town  of  Fabius,  on  Limestone  Creek,  there 
is .  a  large  quantity  of  tufa,  showing  the  three 
varieties, — the  earthy,  solid  or  horsebone,  as  it  is 
called,  and  the  ferruginous. 

Peat,  or  Muck,  is  found  in  great  abundance  in 
the  swamps  and  low  grounds.  The  conditions  nec- 
essary for  its  production,  are  permanent  moisture, 
with  a  subsoil  of  either  clay  or  marl,  impermeable 
to  water.  It  is  formed  of  successive  growths  of 
vegetation  which  have  died  and  become  brown  or 
black.     It  is  spongy  and  retentive  of  water,  and  by 

*  Vanuxum.  t  ^'''<'- 


64 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK 


successive  growths  has  raised  its  bed,  so  that  it 
appcats  in  mounds  and  hillocks.  In  some  localities 
this  is  aided  greatly  by  deposits  of  tufa  constantly 
forming  beneath  it.  Usually  the  surface  is  soft, 
yielding  to  pressure  and  trembling  when  walked 
upon.  In  the  town  of  Clay,  in  this  county,  are 
extensive  beds  of  peat,  which,  judging  from  experi- 
ments recently  made  by  Mr.  James  M.  Hart,  promise 
to  be  of  great  importance  as  fuel.  An  analysis 
of  a  si)ccimcn  of  compressed  peat,  from  the  works 
of  Mr.  Hart,  made  by  Francis  E.  Engclhardt,  I'h.  D., 
Chemist  for  the  Salt  Company.  Syracuse,  in  March, 
1877,  gave  the  following  result : 

Moisture  cxjx:llcd  at  212  Fah't  — 12.17 

Volatile  matter - -- 52.84 

Fi.xed  carbon — 2462 

Ash. 10.37 


100.00 
The  sjiecific  gravity  was  found  to  be,  after  the  es- 
cape of  the  moist  air,  above  1,300. 

Of  the  peat  c/iarcoal,  also  made  at  the  works  of 
Mr.  Hart,  Ur.  Engelhardt  gives  the  following 
analysis : 

F'i.xed  carbon .-  67.20 

Moisture,  volatile  matter  and  ash 32.80 

100.00 


CHAPTER  XVI. 

Agkiculturk  —  Classiiication  of  Soils  —  Cli- 
mate—Timber — Clearing  Land— Picture  of 
Pioneer  Life— Productions  of  the  County. 

THE  soils  are  the  basis  of  agriculture,  and 
therefore  require  first  to  be  considered  in  any 
treatise  on  that  subject.  North  of  the  Erie  Canal, 
in  Onondaga  county,  the  sandy  and  clay  soils  prevail. 
The  sand  predominates  in  some  districts,  in  others 
the  clay,  while  in  larger  areas  they  arc  mi.xcd  in  the 
proportions  best  calculated  to  keep  the  soil  from 
being  too  heavy  and  tenacious,  on  the  one  hand,  or 
too  loose  and  friable,  on  the  other.  This  desirable 
combination  is  known  as  loam,  and  is  the  character 
of  a  large  portion  of  the  drift  soil  in  the  northern 
part  of  the  county. 

In  a  belt  lying  along  the  south  side  of  the  canal 
and  extending  to  the  Marccllus  Shales,  there  is  less 
of  drift  and  the  soil  is  more  directly  due  to  the  de- 
comiwsition  of  the  underlying  rocks  of  the  salt 
group  and  the  I  Icldcrbcrg  range.  These  soils  come 
under  the  head  of  clayey  loams.  The  rest  of  the 
county  to  the  south  is  divided  by  valleys  and  ranges 
of  hills,  whose  general  course  is  north  and  south. 
The  valleys  are  covered  with  drift  and  alluvium, 


while  the  hills  have  soils  formed  principally  from 
the  decomposition  of  the  shales  that  underlie  them, 
constituting  a  soil  that  would  best  be  classed  as 
loam. 

The  drift  of  the  northern  part  of  this  county  is 
derived  from  the  rocks  which  outcrop  here  and 
from  those  which  are  seen  farther  to  the  north. 
The  Medina  sandstone  contributes  largely  to  the 
soil,  in  which  we  find  also  considerable  portions  of 
granitic  rocks.  The  decomposing  feldspar  and  mica 
of  the  granite  give  alkalies  to  the  soil,  which  arc  so 
combined  with  silica  that  they  are  comparatively 
unafl'ected  by  the  water,  and  are  retained  in  the  soil 
for  the  use  of  plants  The  lime  of  the  Helderberg 
range  constitutes  the  principal  part  of  the  drift  of 
the  southern  valleys,  and  therefore  wheat  is  pro- 
duced in  them  with  profit.  The  late  David  Thomas, 
in  a  letter  to  Dr.  Emmons,  says  : 

"  Generally  it  is  good  wheat  land  as  far  south  as 
the  detritus  from  our  limestone  formations  has  been 
abundantly  spread.  The  current  thai  swept  over  this 
country  took  a  southerly  direction,  and  wherever  the 
slate  rocks  were  exposed  to  its  action,  a  portion  of 
them  became  mixed  with  the  soil ;  thus,  near  such 
localities,  the  soil  is  less  calcarious  and  less  favorable 
to  wheat.  The  drift  from  our  rocks  grows  less  and 
less  as  we  go  south,  and  as  it  grows  scarcer,  the 
fragments  have  become  more  worn  and  rounded  in 
their  progress,  giving  a  less  and  less  proportion  of 
the  diluvial  formation.  About  twenty  miles  south 
of  the  Pennsylvania  line  every  trace  of  our  rocks 
disappears.  The  people  residing  on  the  Susque- 
hanna used  to  supply  themselves  with  lime  by  gath- 
ering and  burning  small  fragments  of  rounded 
stones  from  the  shores,  much  of  them  not  larger 
than  gravel,  and  which  doubtless  were  swept  from 
this  district." 

Of  the  formation  of  soils  Dr.  Emmons  says  : 

"  The  composition,  liability  to  solution,  the  struct- 
ure and  position  of  rocks,  have  an  important  bearing 
on  the  discussion  of  the  formation  of  soils.  Each 
of  the  groups  respectively  impart  to  the  overlying 
soils  some  of  their  distinguishing  characteristics, 
and  in  a  good  measure  make  them  what  they  are. 
Transporting  agencies  modify  them  by  interming- 
ling soils  that  have  originated  from  rocks  that  are 
to  be  found  at  a  distance.  Unless  the  beds  of  drift 
are  deep,  it  will  be  found  that  the  underlying  rocks 
give  a  stronger  character  to  the  soft  materials  than 
is  usually  supposed.  Limestones  are  liable  to  a  con- 
stant loss  of  materials  by  the  solvent  properties  of 
rain  water,  which  holds  carbonic  acid  in  solution. 
This  is  favored  by  rough  and  uneven  surfaces  on 
which  water  will  stand.  Polished  surfaces  are  acted 
on  but  little.  The  shales  and  slates  disintegrate 
rapidly-  water  and  frost  arc  the  agents." 

Of  the  wearing  down  of  silkious  limestone,  or 
calcarious  sandstones,  he  says  : 

"The  lime  dissolves  out,  leaving  the  sand  on  the 
surface,  which  falls  ofiand  leaves  a  new  surface,  from 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


65 


which  the  lime  is  dissolved  and  the  sand  falls.  The 
dissolved  lime,  however,  does  not  all  pass  into  and  re- 
main in  the  soil,  but  is  carried  down  and  forms,  very 
frequently,  with  other  materials,  a  hard  pan,  or  pud- 
dling stone,  or  concretions,  the  lime  acting  as  a 
cement.  In  other  instances  it  percolates  into  and 
through  the  rocks  and  forms  stalactites,  veins  or 
other  deposits.  Lime  is  removed  from  the  soil  in 
the  same  manner  that  it  is  from  the  rocks  Thus 
this  element  is  removed  by  vegetation  and  the 
ordinary  action  of  rain  water." 

These  extracts,  with  what  else  has  been  said  as 
to  the  formation  of  soils,  it  is  judged  will  be  suffi- 
cient for  a  general  description  of  the  soils  of  Onon- 
daga county.  The  composition  of  the  rocks  from 
which  they  are  formed  being  given  in  the  Geology, 
it  is  thought  that  a  careful  study  of  their  constitu- 
ents, with  some  practical  discrimination  on  the  part 
of  farmers,  with  reference  to  drift  and  alluvial  forma- 
tions, will  enable  them  to  know,  with  sufficient 
certainty,  what  their  lands  are  composed  of,  with- 
out special  analysis. 

The  Climate  of  the  county  is  favorable  to  the 
growth  and  perfection  of  the  fruits,  vegetables  and 
cereals  usually  cultivated,  although  considerable 
difference  of  temperature  is  shown  in  the  same  sea- 
son within  the  limits  of  the  county,  on  account  of 
different  degrees  of  elevation.  The  differences,  for 
example,  between  the  average  temperature  of  Pom- 
pey  Hill  and  that  of  Onondaga  Valley,  has  been 
shown  by  observations  taken  at  the  academies  of 
the  respective  places,  during  a  period  of  sixteen 
years,  to  be  4.34  deg.  Fah't.  The  difference  in  alti- 
tude between  the  two  places  being  1,343  feet,  the 
effect  of  elevation  on  temperature  would  be  equal 
to  one  degree  of  the  thermometer  to  each  309J 
feet,  which  agrees  substantially  with  what  has  been 
claimed  by  Coffin  and  others. 

The  effect  of  this  elevation  was  practically  illus- 
trated on  the  15th  day  of  September,  1859,  the 
coldest  day  for  the  season  ever  known  here.  Every- 
thing throughout  the  high  portions  of  the  county 
was  destroyed  by  frost,  while  it  was  observed  by 
those  descending  into  the  valleys  that  tobacco  and 
corn  were  comparatively  uninjured.  The  frost  is 
not  always  as  severe  on  Pompey  Hill  as  the  tem- 
perature would  indicate,  on  account  of  the  free  cir- 
culation of  air,  which  sometimes  prevents  damage 
to  crops  when  those  in  the  valleys  are  touched  and 
injured.  The  year  referred  to  above  was  an  excep- 
tional year,  and  yet  little  damage  was  done  to  crops 
except  in  the  highest  portions  of  the  county. 

"  In  the  town  of  DeWitt,"  says  Mr.  Geddes,  "  it  was 
found  that  the  leaves  of  unharvested  tobacco  showed 
slight  injury,  which  grew  less  and  less  as  the  eleva- 
tion diminished.     Below  the  Helderberg  range  the 


effect  of  the  frost  was  trifling.  The  outer  ends  of 
the  corn  leaves  were  touched  as  by  a  breath  of  fire, 
but  the  husks  of  the  ears  were  safe,  and  the  crop 
went  on  to  maturity.  On  the  great  level  north  of 
the  Erie  Canal,  except  in  a  few  localities,  the  crops 
were  scarcely  affected,  and  the  ameliorating  influ- 
ence of  Oneida  Lake,  combined  with  diminished 
elevation,  was  a  perfect  protection  to  vegetation  on 
its  borders.  Every  other  large  body  of  water  did 
good  service  to  the  farmers  that  morning.  In  the 
vicinity  of  Skaneateles  Lake,  lima  beans  were  the 
only  vegetables  touched.  A  month  elapsed  before 
we  had  another  such  a  cold  night. 

"  The  length  of  the  summer  season  in  the  State 
generally,  reckoning  from  the  first  blooming  of  the 
apple  trees  to  the  first  killing  frost,  is  174  days. 
In  Onondaga  it  is  17410  180,  thus  giving  us  three 
more  summer  days  than  the  average  of  the  State, 
while  Long  Island  has  twelve  and  a  half  more,  and 
St.  Lawrence  twenty-two  days  less  than  the  average 
of  the  State." 

Unlike  the  pioneer  settlers  of  the  broad  and 
already  cleared  prairies  of  the  great  West,  the  first 
farmers  of  Onondaga  county  encountered  a  forest  of 
giant  growth,  from  whose  dominion  a  portion  of 
the  soil  had  to  be  redeemed  by  hard  and  persistent 
labor,  with  many  accompanying  privations,  as  pre- 
liminary and  necessary  steps  to  making  it  yield  them 
and  their  families  a  subsistence.  At  least  one  gene- 
ration was  worn  out  in  this  sturdy  battle  with  the 
giant  forest,  in  felling  the  trees,  burning  them  as 
cumberers  of  the  ground,  splitting  them  into  rails, 
and  in  making  clearings  and  improvements  suffi- 
cient for  comfortable  homes  for  the  next  generation. 
The  men  who  encountered  the  forest  were  the 
heroes  of  that  age — the  pioneers  of  civilization, 
the  founders  of  new  States.  It  required  a  hardihood 
and  a  perseverance  which  we  of  this  generation 
can  hardly  appreciate.  In  some  portions  of  this 
county  the  timber  never  would  have  been  cleared 
away — never  could  have  been — but  for  the  fish  in 
the  waters  and  the  game  with  which  the  woods 
abounded.  These  aided  the  pioneers  and  afforded 
them  subsistence  till  they  could  raise  a  living  from 
the  soil. 

Let  us  follow  the  pioneer  as  he  selects  his  home 
in  the  wilderness  and  erects  his  rude  log  cabin. 
The  opening  made  in  the  woods  at  first  is  such  only 
as  is  necessary  to  supply  the  logs  for  his  cabin  and  the 
browse  for  his  cattle.  He  has  come  a  long  journey 
with  an  ox  team,  and  brought  with  him  a  cow,  a 
couple  of  pigs  and  a  few  sheep.  These,  with  a 
bed,  two  or  three  chairs,  a  pot  and  a  kettle,  and  a 
few  other  indispensable  articles  for  house-keeping, 
few  and  scanty,  constitute  his  outfit  and  the  bulk 
of  his  worldly  wealth.  The  roof  of  his  house  is  of 
peeled  elm  bark  ;  his  scanty  window  is  oiled  paper, 


66 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK 


for  glass  is  a  luxurj-  which  has  not  yet  found  its  way  ' 
to  the  new  settlement.  The  floor  of  his  cabin  is  of 
halves  of  split  logs,  the  door  is  made  of  three  hewed 
plank  ;  no  boards  are  to  be  had,  for  no  saw  mill 
is  within  accessible  distance.  There  arc  yet  no 
roads,  no  bridges  across  the  streams.  Miles  and 
miles  away  through  the  dense  forest  is  his  nearest 
neighbor.  This  is  the  spot  which  the  pioneer  has 
chosen  in  which  to  car\-e  out  his  future  fortune. 
Against  what  fearful  odds  is  he  battling  .'  The 
trees  which  cover  his  estate  with  the  growth  of 
centuries  arc  to  be  attacked  and  cleared  away,  and 
the  land  is  to  be  paid  for.  The  task  surely  is  a 
herculean  one,  but  he  has  a  stout  heart  and  a  strong 
arm. 

A  year  or  two  pass  away  and  we  see  the  im- 
provements which  have  been  made.  Our  pioneer 
has  chopped  down  and  cleared  a  few  acres.  The 
front  is  fenced  with  a  new  rail  fence,  and  a  brush 
fence  protects  the  ends  and  the  rear.  Near  the 
house  is  a  small  patch  cleared  for  a  garden.  Here 
he  has  raised  some  vegetables  during  the  season, 
which  have  supplied  the  first  delicacies  to  his  cabin 
tabic.  A  crop  of  corn,  pumpkins  and  potatoes  has 
been  raised  among  the  charred  and  blackened  logs, 
but  the  distance  is  so  great  to  a  mill,  the  quantity  of 
corn  so  small  that  he  can  carry  on  horseback,  or  the 
the  time  consumed  in  going  with  his  oxen  and  sled 
so  great,  that  he  has  extemporized  a  contrivance  for 
converting  his  corn  into  coarse  meal.  A  mortar 
has  been  dug  out  in  a  hard  wood  log,  and  a  pestle 
suspended  to  a  spring-pole,  and  in  this  the  corn  is 
being  pounded  to  supply  the  needs  of  the  family, 
except  on  extraordinary  occasions  when  wheaten 
bread,  from  the  small  amount  of  flour  procured  at 
great  cost,  is  used  as  a  luxury. 

But  look  again  at  our  pioneer.  Ten  years  are 
supposed  to  have  passed  away.  The  premises,  late 
so  rude,  begin  to  have  the  appearance  of  careful 
management,-  thrift,  and  even  comfort.  Various 
crops  arc  growing  on  many  acres  of  cleared  land. 
A  payment  has  been  made  on  the  property.  lie 
has  a  neat  framed  barn  built,  a  well,  provided  with 
curb  and  sweep,  and  a  garden  enclosed  by  a  picket 
fence.  A  look  into  his  fields  shows  a  large  increase 
in  his  stock.  The  improvements  of  his  neighbors 
have  reached  his,  so  that  he  can  now  look  out  with- 
out looking  up.  A  school  district  has  been  organ- 
ized, and  a  comfortable  log  school  house  appears  in 
the  distance.  A  framed  bridge  spans  the  stream 
in  place  of  the  primitive  one  built  of  logs.  Our 
pioneer,  we  may  venture  to  assume,  is  either  Colonel 
or  Captain  of  militia.  Supervisor  of  the  town  or 
Justice  of  the  Peace. 


Take  another  view  of  him.  Forty-five  years  are 
supposed  to  have  elapsed  since  we  saw  him  first 
commencing  his  wilderness  home.  Not  only  is  his 
home,  but  the  homes  of  his  neighbors  around  him, 
are  in  a  well  cultivated  and  rich  section  of  farming 
country.  His  lands  and  tenements  are  free  from 
debt.  He  has  added  to  his  primitive  possessions, 
and  secured  lands  for  his  sons,  if  not  at  home,  in 
some  one  of  the  Western  States,  where  they  are 
also  to  become  pioneers  of  new  settlements.  He 
has  flocks  and  herds.  The  surplus  produce  in  his 
granaries  he  is  able  to  sell  or  keep,  as  he  chooses. 
He  is  a  forehanded,  independent  farmer,  having 
founded  and  worked  out  his  own  fortune  by  long 
years  of  patient  and  persevering  industry.  As 
things  have  changed  on  his  premises  and  in  his 
home,  so  have  they  improved  in  the  whole  neighbor- 
hood around  him.  There  are  fine  cultivated  fields, 
thrifty  orchards,  tasty  and  substantial  farm  build- 
ings and  neat  cottages.  The  farms  are  well  fenced 
and  neatly  kept.  The  steel  plow,  the  cultivator, 
the  mower  and  reaper,  have  taken  the  place  of  the 
old  implements  with  which  the  pioneers  began  farm 
life.  A  prosperous  hamlet  has  sprung  up  near  by, 
where  there  are  schools,  churches,  telegraph,  express 
and  post  offices.  This  hamlet,  moreover,  is  a  rail- 
road station,  affording  a  market,  and  through  which 
trains  pass  daily  to  and  from  the  great  cities  and 
centres  of  commerce  and  intelligence. 

Such  has  been  pioneer  life  and  progress  in  the 
State  of  New  York  generally,  nor  is  the  sketch  we 
have  drawn  less  truly  a  picture  of  early  settlement 
in  Onondaga  county. 

The  forests  which  the  farmers  in  a  few  genera- 
tions have  thus  subdued,  were  originally  dense,  and 
the  timber  generally  heavy.  Large  forests  of  white 
pine  grew  in  the  north  part  of  the  county,  the 
stumps  of  which,  on  account  of  their  resinous 
properties,  last  for  ages  in  the  soil.  This  disadvan- 
tage, however,  to  clearing  the  land,  is  compensated 
for  in  iinother  direction.  The  soil  of  the  pine 
lands  is  usually  so  light  and  porous  on  the  surface 
that  the  stumps  may  be  lifted  out  of  their  beds  in 
a  perfectly  sound  condition  by  means  of  a  stumping 
machine.  This  valuable  invention  enabled  the  peo- 
ple of  Cicero  and  the  northern  portion  of  the  coun- 
ty to  clear  their  otherwise  valuable  and  beautiful 
farms  of  the  persistent  incumbrance  of  pine  stumps 
which  for  years  had  rendered  them  unsightly  and 
seriously  interfered  with  their  cultivation.  For 
many  years  the  road  between  Syracuse  and  Brewer- 
ton  was  lined  on  both  sides  with  these  stumps  set 
up  on  edge  for  fences.  Since  they  have  been  dis- 
posed of,  the  people  of  that  section  have  as  fine  and 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


67 


beautiful  farms  as  are  to  be  found  in  any  portion  of 
the  county. 

The  area  of  the  pines  in  Onondaga  county  was 
chiefly  in  the  northern  portion,  although  they  were 
found  along  the  base  of  the  Helderberg  range,  and 
a  few  scattering  trees  grew  even  above  the  cornifer- 
ous  limestone.  White  cedar  abounded  in  the 
swamps  north  of  the  Helderberg  range,  and  in 
small  quantities  among  the  pines  in  the  southern 
swamps.  Hemlock  was  very  plenty  in  almost  every 
part  of  the  county,  but  most  abundant  in  the  north- 
ern half  This  valuable  timber  has  been  extensive- 
ly used  for  building,  fencing,  for  making  salt  barrels 
and  the  construction  of  plank  roads.  Tamarack, 
two  varieties  of  spruce,  hickory,  white-wood,  bass- 
wood,  maple,  beech,  and  white  and  black  oak,  have 
been  prevailing  timber  in  this  county. 

Along  the  south  side  of  the  Gypseous  shales 
were  some  pine  trees  of  uncommon  dimensions. 
Near  the  northeast  corner  of  the  town  of  Camillus, 
one  was  cut  down  that  measured  230  feet  as  it  lay 
on  the  ground  ;  another  near  it  gave  154  feet  of 
saw  logs.  They  grew  on  land  owned  by  Wheeler 
Truesdell. 

Some  very  large  white  oaks  were  found  in  the 
low  lands  north  of  the  canal,  and  scattered  among 
the  scrub  oaks  of  the  Gypseous  shales.  One  of 
them  at  Fairmount  was  saved  when  the  other 
timber  was  cut  away,  but  deprived  of  its  surround- 
ings, it  soon  died,  and  of  consequence  was  cut  down. 
The  stump  was  five  feet  in  diameter,  and  forty  feet 
above,  where  the  trunk  was  somewhat  eliptical,  the 
respective  diameters  measured  four  feet  six  inches, 
and  three  feet  ten  inches. 

The  progress  of  improvement  has  swept  away 
nearly  all  the  original  forests,  so  that  not  enough 
now  remains  to  meet  the  demands  for  fuel.  The 
coal  mines  of  Pennsylvania  are  now  largely  drawn 
upon,  not  only  by  the  manufacturers  of  salt,  and 
inhabitants  of  the  city  of  Syracuse  and  adjoining 
villages,  but  also  by  the  farmers. 

From  the  first  settlement  of  the  county  the  "  oak 
lands,"  as  they  have  been  called  by  the  farmers, 
have  been  proverbial  for  their  ability  to  produce 
wheat.  All  that  tract  of  land  once  covered  with 
oak  and  hickory,  is  the  true  wheat  land ;  the  beech 
and  maple  lands  are  best  adapted  to  pasturage,  and 
the  pine  lands  are  generally  well  suited  both  to  grain 
and  grass. 

We  have  not  space  to  introduce  here  the  interest- 
ing discussion  of  the  clover  plant  as  related  to  the 
agriculture  of  the  county,  the  analyses  of  clover 
and  clover  ash  furnished  by  Prof.  Emmons  and 
others  ;  but  refer  the  reader  to  Transactions  of  the 


New  York  State  Agricultural  Society  for  1859,  in 
which  the  subject  is  elaborately  treated  by  Hon. 
George  Geddes. 

Wheat.— Previous  to  the  year  1846,  Onondaga 
county  produced  wheat  of  the  best  quality,  and  in 
such  quantities  that  it  was  the  great  staple  and  the 
crop  from  which  the  farmers  expected  to  realize 
their  profits.  In  that  year  the  midge  destroyed  the 
crop,  and  opened  the  eyes  of  the  farmers  to  a  dan- 
ger they  had  not  anticipated.  The  first  remedy 
was  the  substitution  of  a  variety  of  wheat  then  lit- 
tle esteemed,  the  Mediterranean,  which,  on  trial,  es- 
caped the  ravages  of  the  insect.  At  once  this 
wheat  was  in  demand  for  seed,  and  has  since  come 
into  general  use.  It  has  gradually  improved  on  the 
natural  wheat  soil  of  the  county,  till  the  flour  made 
from  it  is  perhaps  equal  in  quality  to  that  of  the  red 
chaff"  wheat  formerly  raised.  Since  the  ravages  of 
the  midge  began,  more  spring  wheat  has  been  raised 
than  formerly.  A  portion  of  the  lands  of  the  coun- 
ty, the  upper  measures  of  the  Hamilton  group  and 
the  Genesee  slates,  represented  in  the  town  of 
Spaffbrd,  are  best  adapted  to  spring  wheat,  while 
Camillus  and  the  lands  situated  on  the  shales  of 
the  Salt  group,  are  best  adapted  to  the  production 
of  winter  wheat. 

Meadows  and  Pastures.— Over  thirty  per  cent, 
of  the  improved  lands  of  this  county  are  devoted  to 
pasture,  and  over  eighteen  per  cent,  to  meadow. 
Red  clover,  timothy,  and  red-top  are  sown  and  cul- 
tivated for  pasture  and  hay.  It  is  very  rare  that 
any  other  grass  seeds  are  sown,  but  in  most  of  the 
meadows  and  pastures  which  have  stood  a  few 
years,  white  clover,  spear  grass,  Kentucky  blue 
grass,  orchard  grass,  &c.,  make  their  appearance. 
In  ordinary  seasons,  good  farming  will  secure  not 
less  than  two  tons  of  hay  to  the  acre,  and  this  can 
be  cut  and  properly  taken  care  of  for  about  $2.00 
per  ton. 

Tobacco. — The  cultivation  of  tobacco  as  a  crop 
was  commenced  in  this  county  by  Chester  Moses 
and  Nahum  Grimes,  both  of  the  town  of  Marcellus, 
in  1845.  They  joined  in  hiring  a  man  from  Con- 
necticut who  was  skilled  in  the  culture.  In  1846, 
Col.  Mars  Nearing,  then  of  the  town  of  Salina, 
raised  ten  acres,  and  soon  others  were  engaged  in  a 
small  way  in  raising  this  crop.  The  census  of 
1855  shows  that  in  the  preceeding  year  471  1-8 
acres  were  raised  in  the  county,  yielding  554,987 
pounds,  or  an  average  yield  of  1,178  pounds  to  the 
acre.  It  is  thought  that  this  crop  pays  a  better 
profit,  on  suitable  ground,  and  when  skillfully 
handled,  than  any  other  raised  here.  The  produc- 
tion in  1859  was  estimated  by  Mr.  Benjamin  Clark 


68 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


of  Marcellus,  as  amounting  in  value  to  $150,000,  of 
which  $25,000  worth  was  produced  in  Marcellus, 
$10,000  worth  in  Skancateles,  $20,000  worth  in 
Van  Buren,  $10,000  worth  in  Lysander,  $8,000 
worth  in  Manlius,  $5,000  worth  in  Camillus,  $4,000 
worth  in  Geddes,  $8,000  worth  in  Salina.  §6,000 
worth  in  Elbridgc,  $8,000  worth  in  Onond»ga.  and 
the  remainder  divided  among  the  other  towns. 

In  1870.  the  census  gave  1,255.400  pounds  of 
tobacco  raised  in  the  county,  distributed  among  the 
towns  as  follows  :  Camillus.  51.770  :  Cicero,  7,638  ; 
Clay,  123.039;  DeWitt.  38,016;  Elbridge,  2,808; 
Geddes,  3,900  ;  LaP'ayettc,  475  ;  Lysander,  465.585  ; 
Manlius,  1 22.1 51  ;  Marcellus.  45.293  ;  Onondaga, 
10,500;  Pomi)ey,  37,295;  Salina,  31.550;  Skanc- 
ateles, 33.150;  Van  Hurcn,  266,640. 


CHAPTER  XVII. 

Comparative  Statistics — Influential  Aoki- 
cuLTUKisTs  —  County  Agricultural  Socie- 
ties—Thk  Present  Joint  Stock  Company — 
General  Agricultural  Statistics  of  the 
County. 

ONONDAGA  is  one  of  the  five  counties  of 
the  State  having  farms  of  the  highest  cash 
valuation,  the  aggregate  value  of  her  farms  being 
$37,251,541.  This  is  exceeded  only  by  Monroe, 
Oneida,  Westchester,  and  St.  Lawrence  counties, 
whose  farms  are  valued  respectively  at  §42,047,759, 
$40.21 1.650.  $39o05.S35.  and  $38.3W.743- 

The  county  of  Onondaga  has  the  largest' amount 
of  money  invested  in  farm  buildings  other  than 
dwellings,  the  aggregate  being  $4,798,545.  The 
counties  which  come  nearest  this  amount  arc  re- 
spectively, Dutchess,  $4,718,928  ;  Orange,  $4,631,- 
345  ;  Oneida,  $4,571,453  ;  and  St.  Lawrence,  $4,- 
222,099. 

The  gross  sales  of  all  the  farm  products  of  the 
State  in  1875  were  $121,187,467.  Of  this  amount 
Onondaga  county  contributed  $3,667,933.  while  she 
was  the  fourth  in  the  number  of  acres  plowed, 
namely,  1 19.340  acres.  She  was  the  fourth  county 
also  in  Indian  corn,  her  product  being  894,723 
bushels.  In  the  yield  of  oats  she  was  only  exceeded 
by  four  counties  in  the  State. 

The  counties  cutting  the  largest  number  of 
fleeces  of  wool  in  1875  were  Steuben.  80,617  ;  Liv- 
ingston, 68,832;  Washington,  63,359;  Ontario, 
60,219;  Genesee,  47.779;  and  Onondaga,  41,956. 
All  these  counties  cut  fewer  fleeces  than  in  1855, 
although  the  weight  of  the  fleeces  in  each  county 
is  increased. 

This  county  had  among  its  early  citizens  some  of 


the  leading  agriculturists  of  the  State,  both  theo- 
retical and  practical.  None  took  an  earlier  or 
more  prominent  part  than  the  President  of  the  first 
Agricultural  Society  of  the  county — Hon.  Dan 
Bradley,  of  Marcellus.  He  was  a  graduate  from 
Vale  in  the  class  of  1798,  and  received  the  degree 
of  M.  A.  at  the  age  of  twenty-three.  He  was  a 
native  of  Haddam,  Conn ,  where  he  was  born  June 
10,  1767.  The  date  of  his  settlement  in  Marcellus 
was  September,  1795,  after  having  spent  several 
years  as  a  minister  of  the  gospel,  in  New  Hartford, 
Oneida  county.  Mr.  Bradley  devoted  himself  to 
a  scientific  study  of  farming  theoretically,  as  well 
as  following  it  practically  as  a  pursuit,  and  it  is 
claimed  that  the  improvement  of  agriculture  in  the 
county,  and  in  this  whole  section  of  the  State,  is 
due  more  to  his  influence  than  to  that  of  any  other 
man.  Indeed,  this  may  be  sakl  of  the  State  at 
large,  inasmuch  as  he  was  chiefly  instrumental  in 
securing  the  passage  of  the  law  for  the  benefit  of 
agricultural  societies  in  1819.  He  contributed  some 
of  the  ablest  papers  and  articles  of  his  day  to  the 
State  Agricultural  Reports  and  the  leading  agricul- 
tural journals.* 

Mr.  John  Ellis,  father  of  James  M.  Ellis,  Esq., 
of  Syracuse,  was  the  first  to  introduce  merino 
sheep  into  the  county.  In  1796  he  settled  on  Lot 
103.  in  the  town  of  Onondaga.  About  1802  or  1803, 
he  purchased  of  Col.  Humphrey,  of  Connecticut,  two 
bucks  and  two  ewes,  of  the  pure  merino  stock 
which  Col.  Humphrey  had  imported  from  Spain, 
paying  $1,500  for  the  four  head.  Mr.  Ellis  bred 
these  sheep  extensively  on  his  farm  and  laid  the 
foundation  of  wide  improvement  in  the  stock  of 
fine  wooled  sheep  throughout  the  country.  After 
his  death,  Mr.  James  M.  Ellis  continued  to  breed 
fine  flocks  of  these  sheep  on  the  farm  formerly 
owned  by  his  father,  till  1854. 

Mr.  Davis  Cossitt,  of  Onondaga  Hill,  has  also 
been  an  extensive  breeder  of  merino  sheep,  and 
has  at  present  a  very  fine  flock. 

Timothy  Sweet  was  one  of  the  earliest  and  best 
known  farmers  of  the  county.  He  emigrated  to 
Pompey  in  1794,  reaching  what  is  now  the  "  Old 
Homestead  "  on  the  28th  of  January,  where  within 
eight  days  Kneeland  Sweet  was  born.  Within 
three  months  after  his  arrival  Mr.  Timothy  Sweet 
was  elected  to  the  office  of  fence  viewer,  and  at  the 
next  town  meeting  to  the  office  of  Commissioner 
of  Highways.  In  this  capacity  he  labored  for  many 
years,  and  assisted  in  laying  out  most  of  the  roads 
in  the  original  town.  He  soon  became  a  promi- 
nent, if  not  the  leading,  farmer  in  the  town,  and 

*  See  Hiitsrjr  of  Mucellui. 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


69 


one  of  the  first  in  the  county.  In  1803,  he  pur- 
chased of  Dr.  Mordecai  Hale,  of  New  York  City, 
two  cows  of  Mr.  Livingston's  importation.  These 
were  of  the  best  short-horned  stock  of  that  day. 
From  1800  to  1817  he  was  the  most  prominent  ' 
farmer  in  the  county,  tilling  more  land  and  produc- 
ing the  most  grain,  cattle,  horses  and  sheep.  About  : 
this  time  he  divided  his  property  among  his  children 
and  retired  from  active  life.*  ] 

Hon.  George  Geddes,   of  Fairmount,  has    been     | 
among  the  leading  agriculturists  of  this  section  of 
the  State.     He  has  devoted  much  attention  to  the 
subject  both  practically  and  scientifically,  having     j 
contributed  articles  on  various  branches  of  agricul-    \ 
ture  to  the  Country  Gentleman,  the  New  York  Tri- 
biine,  and  other  journals.     His  able  report,  includ- 
ing  the  result  of  his  survey  of  the  county,  pub- 
lished in  the  Transactions  of  the  State  Agricultural 
Society  for  1859,  contains  a  more  complete  view  of 
the    topography,   geology    and    resources    of    the 
county,  together  with  the  methods  and  history  of 
its  agriculture,  than  can  be  found  elsewhere.     Mr. 
Geddes  as  a  member  of  the  State  and  local  Agri- 
cultural  Societies,  has  ever  been  an  earnest  and 
efficient  worker  in  behalf  of  all  measures  calculated     j 
to  promote  the  agricultural  interests  of  his  county 
and  State. 

Enoch  Marks,  of  the  town  of  Camillus,  was  for 
many  years  prominently  connected  with  agricultural 
matters,  and  had  much  to  do  with  the  introduction  of 
improved  stock.  In  the  fruit  and  nursery  business, 
the  name  of  Alanson  Thorp  is  as  prominent  as  any  ; 
in  the  county.  He  founded  the  nurseries  on  West  ' 
Genesee  street,  known  as  the  Syracuse  Nurseries. 

The  rich  soil  of  Onondaga  and  the  enterprise  of 
her  citizens  stimulated  movements  for  the  benefit 
of  agriculture  at  an  early  period.  The  first  Agri- 
cultural Society  of  the  county  was  formed  at  Onon- 
daga Hill  in  the  spring  of  18 19.  During  the  ses-  ' 
sion  of  the  Legislature  of  the  preceding  winter  an 
act  had  been  passed  by  which  a  large  fund  was  ap- 
propriated for  the  benefit  of  agricultural  societies 
throughout  the  State.  Onondaga  county  became 
entitled  to  1^300  of  this  fund  on  condition  that  she 
should  raise  an  equal  amount  and  form  an  agricul- 
tural society.  The  first  meeting  was  held  on  the  4th 
of  May,  1819,  at  which  a  constitution  was'adopted 
and  the  following  officers  chosen,  viz  :  Dan  Bradley, 
President  ;^Squire  Munro,  Martin  Cossitt,  Augustus 
Wheaton,  Vice-Presidents  ;  Job  Tyler,  Recording- 
Secretary  ;  George  Hall  and  A.  Yelverton,  Corres- 
ponding Secretaries  ;  Leonard  Bacon,  Treasurer  ; 
H.  L.  Granger,  Auditor  ;    L.    H.  Redfield,  D.  W. 

*  Re-union  and  History  of  Pompey,  p.  353.  1 


Forman,  O.  W.  Brewster,  Committee  on  Publication. 

The  first  Fair  was  held  at  Onondaga  Valley, 
November  2,  1819;  an  address  was  delivered  by 
the  President,  and  premiums  amounting  to  over 
^200  were  awarded.  Fairs  continued  to  be  held 
with  more  or  less  success  for  about  six  years,  when 
the  society  fell  into  decay,  and  was  soon  practically 
abandoned. 

On  the  9th  of  April,  1838,  the  Legislature  passed 
an  act  (Chap.  179)  for  the  reorganization  of  the 
"  Onondaga  County  Agricultural  Society"  The 
Trustees  named  in  the  act  were,  James  L.  Voor- 
hees,  David  Munro,  Harvey  Baldwin,  Sanford  C. 
Parker,  George  Geddes,  Willis  Gaylord,  Henry  F. 
King,  Grove  Lawrence,  Aaron  Burt,  Oliver  Teall, 
George  Pettit  and  Rufus  Cossit. 

Thus  reorganized,  the  society  continued  to  exist, 
but  did  not  meet  the  expectations  of  its  founders. 
In  1 84 1,  it  received  an  appropriation  of  $\%o  from 
the  State. 

In  1 85 3  a  new  law  was  passed,  allowing  county 
agricultural  societies  to  purchase  and  hold  real  es- 
tate to  an  amount  not  exceeding  $25,000,  and  per- 
sonal property  not  exceeding  $1,000,  for  the  pur- 
poses set  forth  in  their  articles  of  incorporation,  and 
for  no  other  purposes.  Town  and  other  societies 
might  hold  real  estate  to  the  amount  of  §10,000,  and 
personal  property  to  the  amount  of  $3,000.  Each 
county  and  union  society  should  have  at  least  one 
director  or  manager  for  each  town  ;  and  each  town, 
village  or  city  society  should  have  not  less  than  ten 
directors,  who  should  be  elected  annually  by  ballot. 
Upon  application  of  two-thirds  of  their  members  to 
the  Supreme  Court  of  their  district,  these  societies 
might  also  obtain  an  order  for  the  sale  of  a  part  or 
the  whole  of  their  property.  An  amendment  to 
the  act  was  passed  April  13,  1855,  by  the  provisions 
of  which  the  number  of  directors  was  changed  to 
si.x,  two  of  whom  were  elected  each  year  for  a  term 
of  three  years.  Any  person  could  become  a  life 
member  by  the  payment  of  a  sum  not  exceeding 
$10,  and  the  officers  were  jointly  and  severally 
liable  for  all  debts  due  from  the  society  contracted 
while  they  were  in  office,  if  suit  should  be  com- 
menced within  one  year  of  the  time  when  due. 
Each  society  formed  under  these  acts  was  obliged 
to  report  annually  to  the  State  Agricultural  So- 
ciety. 

Under  these  acts  the  Onondaga  County  Agricul- 
tural Society  was  reorganized  on  the  25th  of  Janu- 
ary, 1856.  The  following  report  is  taken  from  the 
Daify  Standard  oi  January  28,  1856: 

"  Agricultural  Society. — The  Annual  Meet- 
ing of  the  Onondaga  County  Agricultural  Society 


70 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


was  held  at  the  City  Hall  in  Syracuse,  January  25, 
1856.  The  President,  Mr.  Wotxlruff.  called  the 
meeting  to  order,  and  appointed  Messrs.  Seth 
Hutchinson,  V.  V.  Nottingham  and  B.  J.  Cowles  a 
Committee  to  examine  applications  for  Premiums 
on  farm  crops.  *  *  *  '  " 

The  Committee  on  Reorganization  reported  that 
they  had  prepared  the  necessary  papers,  &c.,and 
the  Society  proceeded  to  the  election  of  the  follow- 
ing officers : 

Prtsiiifnl.  —  Sc[\nrc  M.  Hrown,  Elbridge. 

\sf  I'tce-Ptesitiait. —  Vcrry  H.  Hinsdcll.  Clay. 

2ti  \'icc-Presiiiait. — H.  J.  Cowles,  Otisco. 

Secretary. —  H.  D.  Didama,  Salina. 

Treasurer. — VV.  R.  Strong,  Syracuse. 

DIRECTORS. 

One  Year.  —  Danvin  L.  Pickard,  Thomas  W.  Hill. 
Two  Years.—].  G.  Kendall,  Alfred  Cobb. 
Three  Years. — Morris  Beard,  John  R.  Strong. 
Delegates  to  the  State  Society  at  Albany,  Febru- 
ary 14,  1856 : 


Horace  White, 
J.  M.  Munro, 
E.  Marks, 

C.  A.  Baker, 

J.  C.  Woodruff, 
J.  S.  Davis. 
S.  M.  lirown, 
E.  D.  Cobb, 
Luther  Baker, 

D.  C.  Munro, 
N.  H.  Noyes, 
W.  D.  Stewart, 
I.  Garrison, 

N.  P.  Eaton, 
J.  M.  Strong, 
George  B.  Sceley, 
John  Moschcll, 


Vivus  W.  Smith, 
J.  Dean  llawicy, 
H.  D.  Didama, 
M.  Compton, 
Moses  Summers, 
J.  G.  K.  Truair, 
J.  Toggitt, 
P.  H.  Hinsdell. 
Smith  Ostrom, 
Thomas   Hutchinson. 
J.  G.  Hinsdcll, 
Hamilton  White, 
Charles  W.  Ilovey, 
Caleb  Brown, 
George  Atwell, 
B.  J.  Cowles, 
Joseph  Breed, 
Richard  Adams. 


D.  T.  Mosely, 

The  above  Society,  although  it  purchased  Fair 
Grounds  east  of  the  Onondaga  Creek  adjoining  the 
plot  of  Danforth,and  expended  considerable  money 
in  fixtures  and  premiums,  was  never  a  financial 
success.  The  F"air  Grounds  were  sold  January  19, 
1866,  by  James  Munro,  trustee  and  agent  for  the 
subscribers  to  the  fund,  and  have  since  been  cut  up 
into  lots. 

The  Annual  Fairs  of  the  State  Agricultural  So- 
ciety were  held  at  Syracuse  in  1841,  in  1849  and  in 
1858. 

The  present  County  Agricultural  Society  was 
organized  on  the  9th  of  February,  1878.  It  is  a 
joint  stock  Company,  incorporated  under  the  general 
law  with  the  following  Board  of  Trustees  : 

Joseph  J.  Glass,  W.  H.  H.  Gere.  William  II. 
Gifford,  John  Wells,  Earl  B.  Alvord,  Sidney  Lewis. 

The  capital  stock  of  the  Society  is  Sicx3,cxx),  di- 
vided into  shares  of  5 10  each. 

The  Trustees  of  the  Society  met  Feb.  9,  at  the 


rooms  of  the  Milk  Association.  Present — Joseph 
J.  Glass,  E.  B.  Alvord,  W.  H.  H.  Gere,  Sidney 
Lewis,  and  John  Wells.     Absent — Wm.  H.  Gifford. 

Mr.  Glass  was,  on  motion  of  Mr.  Alvord,  ap- 
pointed chairman,  and  P.  H.  Agan  secretary  fro 
tetn. 

The  following  officers  were  then  chosen,  to-wit : 

President— V.6\\an\  A.  Powell,  of  Syracuse. 

First  I'ice-Prestiieul — Edward  B.  Judson,  of  Syra- 
cuse. 

Secretary —V2^.t\cV.  H.  Agan,  of  Syracuse. 

7><viJ«nr— Warren  C.  Brayton,  of  DeWitt. 

V^ice-Pkesioents  from  Towns  and  Wards — 
Camillus,  Theodore  F.  Rhodes ;  Cicero,  Addison 
J.  Loomis ;  Clay,  Thomas  H.  Scott;  DcWitt, 
Hiram  K.  Edwards;  Elbridge,  James  Brown; 
Geddcs,  Thomas  Andrews ;  Fabius,  Orel  Pope ; 
LaFayettc,  Russell  King  ;  Lysander,  DeWitt  C. 
Toll ;  Manlius,  Charles  Peck  ;  Marcellus,  Robert 
E.  Dorchester:  Onondaga,  Aaron  Henderson; 
Otisco,  Hicks  Redway;  Pompey,  Major  Berry; 
Frank  W.  Terry ;  Skaneatcles,  E.  H, 
;  Spafford,  Justus  N.  Knapp  ;  TuUy,  Samuel 
Van  Buren,  Augustus  W.  Bingham  :  First 
Ward,  John  Eastwood ;  Second  Ward,  C.  Fred 
Herbst ;  Third  Ward,  Hiram  Kingsley ;  Fifth 
Ward,  William  A.  Sweet ;  Sixth  Ward,  John  R. 
Whitlock  ;  Seventh  Ward,  James  M.  Ellis;  Eighth 
Ward,  Alvah  W.  Palmer. 


Salina, 
Adams ; 
Willis 


Table  showing  Number  and  Size  of  Farms  by  Towns, 
in  Onondaga  County,  at  the  Census  of  1875. 


NUMBER  OF  FARMS 


CIVIL  DIVIS- 
IONS. 


i        '5 


1     M 


1 


Camillus 

Cicero 

Clay 

De  Witt 

Elbridge 

Fabius 

Geddes 

La  Fayette .  . . 
Lysander    . . , 

Manlius 

Marcellus. .  . 
Onondaga  . . 

Otisco 

Pompey 

Salina 

Skaneateles  . 
Spafford  ..... 

Syracuse. 

Tully 

Van  Buren. . 

Total.... 


185  .. 

390  . . 

452  12 

261  .. 

246  . . 

228  I 

74  •• 

3««  •• 

473  •• 


9 

25 
26 

4 
8 

»4 

7 

14 

31 


5!  27 

8[  70 


459  «7  57 
306 
651 
234  5  'o 
«4  39 
7 


535 
»79 
34" 
263 
10 
148 
256 


6,001 


34 
18 

19 

3 
6 
5 


81  415 


'o  35 
40  109 

44  "9 

29  '  71 

25  ;  49 
«3  39 

9  I  31 

30  I  72 

33  «>o 
52  119 

34  70 
9*  "43 
23  46 
49  84 
39  43 


42 
20 


66 
36 
•••   5 

10   2! 
20   23 


56 
128 
168 

8S 
81 

59 

25 

104 

«7' 
116 

96 
169 

74 
»74 

33 

97 

102 

3 

41 

92 


\     I 

8  :§, 


74 1 

88.. 
82  I 

72'.. 
83.. 

99  J 

M,  I 

91.. 

136  » 
98.. 

74.. 
169  .. 

76.. 
«75-- 

23  •• 
114  I 

'?:: 

70.. 

86.. 


614  1311  1,873  '698  9 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


71 


Table  showing  by  Towns  the  Area  of  Farm  Lands  ;  the  Value  of  Farms,  of  Farm  Buildings,  of  Live 
Stock  and  of  Implements ;  the  Area  of  Crops,  and  the  Amount  of  Agricultural  Productions  of  Onon- 
daga County. — Census  of  1875.^ 


AREA  OF  LAND  IN  FARMS. 


PRESENT  CASH  VALUE, 


CIVIL  DIVISIONS. 


Improved. 


Acres. 


Camillas 18,033 

Cicero 19,460 

Clay 23,286 

De  Witt i  16,205 

Elbridge I  18,001 

Fabius 20,648 

Geddes  4,521 

La  Fayette i  19,863 

Lysander :  31,584 

Manlius 24,550 

Marcellus 1 7,067 

Onondaga 35,07S 

Otisco j  14,591 

Pompey |  35,278 

Salina '  6,642 

Skaneateles 20,929 

Spafiford 16,298 

City  of  Syracuse...  416 

TuUy 12,586 

Van  Buren ]  18,483 

Total   373-516 


Unimproved. 


Woodland. 


2,337 
5,043 
3,076 
1,626 
1,870 

5,769 
386 

3,299 

3-999 
2,077 

1,993 
4,266 
3,100 

5,136 
282 

2,569 

2,747 

10 

2,581 
2,259 


Other. 


Of  Farm  nt  t-    i        j  Cost  of  Ferti-Amou't  of  Gross 

Of  Farms.  BuUdings  Of  Stock.  Ot  ipols  and  Uzers  bought       Saks  from 

other  than  ,  Implements.  -^  ,3,^8       j,^_^^  .^  ^^^^ 

Dwellings.  1  j 


Acres. 


Dollars. 


Dollars. 


Delia 


Dollars. 


Dollars. 


240 
3,445 
2,563 


1-597 

681 

180 

1,342 

2,487 

2,263 

878 

670 

1,158 

428 

3,608 

801 

270 

334 

SI 


2,0-0,135 
2,079,027 

2,485,143 
2,336,025 

1,920,935 
1,179,280 

864,300 
1,669,475 
2,871,645 
2,895.182 
1.576,942 
4-351-440 

990,834 
2,719,8x9 

944,348 
2,163,935 
1,113.446 

257,500 

891,950 
1,880,180 


251,645 

244,475 
325,000 
240,185 
221,025 
154,640 

112,425 
208,780 

359,440 

389,005 
263,430 

458,054 
141,485 
441,381 
109,630 

327,895 
172,580 

33,320 

122,425 
221,725 


210,879 

245-315 
268.318 
190,232 
185,156 

170,955 

74,270 

192,562 

382,037 

303,409 
186,311 
344,166 

132,323 
361,186 

86,470 
219,310 
171,867 

13.825 

113,885 
205,295 


73,960 

93,079 
106,201 

81, 545 
61,979 
40.955 
24,640 
62,285 
92,840 
89.977 
65,361 

161,413 
46,500 

108,363 
30,805 

97,384 
65,428 

7-530 
29,415 
65,052 


787 
146 
691 
383 
943 
16 

34 

146 

700 

1,348 

665 

9,314 

60 

200 

1,235 
4,780 

854 

153 

144 

874 


Dollars. 


199,312 

179,613 
261,805 
192,1  10 
178,117 
136,010 
60,821 
169,234 
292,198 
238,963 
144,654 
431,076 

105.143 
306,232 
110,230 
214,137 
145,758 
10,945 
93,792 
207,783 


54.425         25,224      37,251,541   4,798,545     4,057.771        1,404,987  23,473        3,677,923 


AREA  PLOWED. 


CIVIL  DIVISIONS.  In  1874.  In  1875. 


GRASS  LANDS. 


BARLEY. 


Acres.  Acres. 


Camillus 6,336 

Cicero 5,659 

Clay 8,665 

De  Witt 5.390 

Elbridge 6,394 

Fabius 3,557 

Geddes   1,498 

La  Fayette 6,295 

Lysander 9,8 11 

Manlius 7,97o 

Marcellus '  6,109 

Onondaga 12,200 

Otisco 4,148 

Pompey 9,994 

Salina :  2,207 

Skaneateles ,  7,735 

Spafford '  5,175 

City  of  Syracuse.  227 

Tally 3,018 

Van  Buren 6  596 

Total 118,984 


6,012 
S,6i8 

8,550 

5. 131 
6,990 
3.760 
1.459 
6,450 
9,221 

7,864 
6,228 

11,643 

4,556 

10,584 

2,389 

7.793 

5.525 

216 

3,135 
6,216 


Ake.\  in  Pasture. 


Area  Mown-. 


In  1874. 


Acres. 

4,939 
6,267 

5.912 

5. 148 

4,424 

10.028 

993 
5,721 
9,693 
6.279 
S.660 

8,46s 

4.271 

11,542 

1,628 
5.560 
6.154 
84 
4,336 
4-591 


In  1875. 


1874. 


■875. 


4,934 
6,268 

5,721 

5,145 
4,365 
9.-933 
965 
5-615 
9,553 
6,370 

5-455 
8,626 
4,226 
11.396 
1,649 
5,516 
5,981 
90 
4,272 
4,457 


Acres. 


Aa'es. 


3,554 
6,519 
8,368 

5,o°9 
3.279 
6.566 
1,029 

S.299 
7,050 
6,822 

3,856 
9,200 
3,416 
10,181 
1,739 
5,207 
4837 
153 
3,213 
3,257 


3.249 
6,719 
8,489 
5,060 

3,242 
6,563 
1,053 
5-046 
6,853 
6,829 

3.723 
9,118 

3,287 
9.777 
1,744 
4,941 
4,845 
135 
3,264 
3,127 


Hay 
produced 

1874. 


Grass 

Seed 


119,340  '  111,69s   110,537    98,55+    97,064 


5.330 
8,996 

11,336 
6,770 
4.422 
7,986 

1,734 

6,567 

10,038 

9,504 
4  945 

12,954 
4,535 

13.187 
2,566 
6,380 
6,403 
193 
4,074 
_  4.361 

132.281 


590 
281 

333 

336 

267 

42 

16 

225 

31° 
770 
74 
843 
321 
120 

67 

272 

383 

154 
323 


1.242 

26 

89 

148 

1.564 

132 

102 

521 
564 
816 
516 

1.034 
307 

1,291 

821 

739 
20 

124 

239 


Produced. 


P7*'"''-      1874.      I      .875.      I        ■S74. 


Bushels.       Acres.        Acres.        Bushels. 


1.538 

27 

I  10 

242 

1.950 
186 
164 
838 
877 

739 
1,055 
1,429 

535 

2,125 

6 

1,299 

1,057 

298 
414 


32,289 

458 

2,036 

2,618 

40,494 

4,050 

3.190 
15,118 

13,317 
18,262 
13,820 
26,609 
7,027 
33,67s 

18,704 

17.742 

500 

3.439 
5.967 


5,727    10,395  14889     261,215 


72 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


Table  showing  by  Towns  the  Area  of  Farm  Lands ;  the  Value  of  Farms,  of  Farm  Buildings,  of  Live 
Stock  and  of  Implements ;  the  Area  of  Crops,  and  the  Amount  of  Agricultural  Productions  of  Onon- 
daga County.— Census  of  1875. — (Continued.)  ^ 


.  LAT. 


INDIAN  CORN. 


OATS. 


RYE. 


AUA. 


I 


CIVIL  DIVISIONS. 


ilH 


Aam. 


Prodocnl. 

i»7}.  It74.  |»74. 


AUA. 


Aero.      Bmhtlt.      Acm. 


Camillus 46 

Cicero 319 

Clay 412 

I)e  Witt 179 

Elbridge 107 

Fabius 89 

Geddes 19 

LaFayette 143 

Lysandcr 331 

Manlius 276 

Marccllus 231 

Onondaga 372 

Otisco 178 

Pompey 719 

Salina 41 

Skaneateles 300 

SpalTord 120 

City  of  Syracuse 

Tully 126 

Van  Buren 101 

Total 4,ioy 


29 
187 
41  (J 

129 


3 

«>3 

»»3 
240 
279 

»77 
129 
679 

12 
278 

99 

94 
34 


703 
4.729 
7.0S3 
2,3 «» 
1,919 

>.f'4S 
204 

2.45^ 
5.00s 
3.434 

6,036 
3,100 

"."3 
478 

5. 243 
2.«S4 

2,217 
1.469 


1,541 
1,601 

'.895 

'.427 

1,627 

461 

24s 
1,012 

2.770 
2,030 
1,181 
2,217 

49' 
1,366 

480 
".57' 

596 

324 
2.053 


l»7J 


Pmluccd. 
I1T4. 


Area. 


It74. 


■•75. 


Produced. 
"•74. 


Acitfc 


Acre*. 


Attn. 


1,676 
".740 
2  040 
1,650 
'.839 

443 

276 

1. 1 06 

2.935 
2.210 

1.326 

2.59' 

547 

1,626 

5o« 

'.752 

722 

33 

37' 

2.254 


54.890 
46.722 

55.087 
83S'3 
55.859 
18,830 
10,380 

36,744 
104,561 

58.857 
42,636 
76,508 
18,202 

45694 
'4.755 
57.213 
20,141 

1.363 
'0,783 
81,985 


'.444 
2,52' 

3.075 
1,872 
1,644 
2,006 
396 
2,886 
2,948 
1,681 
1,666 

3.7'3 
2,015 

3.943 
568  i 
1,808 
1,7961 
38 
'.572 
2,071 


'.339 
2.370 
3067 
1,868 
1.497 
2.073 

343 
3.'32 
2,811 
2,718 
1,711 
3.721 
2.307 
3.9601 

629; 
2,109 
'.9'2 
37i 
».8o3| 
2,131 


BoibcU. 


44.607 

79.'25 
96,400 
66,702 
53.726, 
72,637 
'4.463 
9'.4'7 
92.124 

87.284 

5'. 748 

120,924 

63.116 

124472 
19,009 
56,085 
57.777 
'.3 -'5 
55.4'7 
71,600 


AllBA  SOWK. 


1»7I. 


J2 
141 
262 
126 


3 
167 

30 

10 

6 


>»74. 


Acm. 


136 
271 
100 

»9 


2 

'63 

22 

6 

'7 


Produced. 

1874. 


'5 

176 

•  •  •  * 

188 

•  •  •  • 

•  •  •  fl 

I 

3 

•  •  •  • 

4 
7 

122 

'.836 

3."S 

'.7'4 

23' 


50 

2.355 

4" 

"5 
90 

2,225 
3.'5» 


a; 
40 


3.221  65,935  24.920  27.638    894,723  40,663  4'.548      i,3'9.958     967       935  I      '3i48a 


SPRING  WHEAT. 


WINTER  WHEAT. 


I.ER 


BEANS. 


PEAS. 


CIVIL  DIVISIONS. 


AuA.  A  ISA  Sown. 

Produced. Produced. 


1I74.       >»7J. 


Acne.     Acres. 


»»74. 


i»7l.  «»74. 


Butheb.      Acre*.        Aciei. 


»874. 


•»74. 


Area. 


U75. 


1874.   ;    «87i. 


Biulielt.    Acm.    Acres.     Acres.    Acres. 


Camillus 62 

Cicero 52 

Clay 100 

DeWitt 25 

Elbridge i  •  54 

Fabius 97 

Geddes 14 

LaFayette 273 

Lysander 126 

Manlius '  65 

Marcellus 200 

Onondaga 593 

Otisco 293 

Pompey 49^ 

Salina 5 

Skaneateles 225 

Spafford 360 

City  of  Syracuse 25 

Tully '  '30 

Van  Buren 157 

Total 3.354 


28 

793 

2,472 

2.550 

34 

657 

925 

9'5 

64 

1,090 

1,290 

1,210 

10 

324 

1,222 

I  162 

38 

748 

2.562 

2,879 

64 

'.433 

360 

327 

11 

400 

459 

481 

'3' 

3.582 

'.376 

'.359 

97 

2,024 

2.755 

2.778 

58 

1,101 

1,885 

'.895 

60 

2,636 

1.600 

1,880 

350 

10,250 

3.364 

3.4" 

187 

4.365 

718 

776 

304 

6,826 

'.344 

'.304 

5 

58 

277 

558 

68 

2.957 

2.214 

»-359 

260 

4,622 

701 

699 

26        590 

25 

.... 

121     1,624 

57' 

662 

86     2,645 

2,484 

2.474 

49.999 

12,479 
17,104 
22,923 

52.503 

6,336 

8.727 

24.348 

52. '85 

3'.36o 

30.454 

63.651 

12,671 

20,434 

5.' 79 

42,622 

12.237 

607 

10,851 

52,090 


43 
93 
69 

'47 
30 
94 
9 
74 
27 
58 
3' 

'75 
40 

210 

126 
84 
62 
8 
84 
»9 


37 
78 
53 
'35 
23 
69 
6 

54 
'7 
36 

35 
170 

3' 

'55 
86 
82 

64 
12 

73 
10 


36  I 

44  [ 
1 1  ' 
40 

2 

I 
22 
54 
33 
33 
29 
'5 
24 

I 

19 
71 

29 
12 


28 

27 

50 

8 

3» 
2 

5' 
28 

30 
22 

2! 

I 

72 

3 
21 

lOI 


29 
18 


Aksa. 


Produced. 

Produced. 

1874. 

1874. 

1875. 

1874. 

Buhsls. 

Acres. 

Acm 

Bnihelt. 

2,002  48,725  28,604  29.379,5287601,483  1226  ,  513     543 


635 
1.542 
1,410 

968 

44 

446 

196 

778 

405 

1,219 

1,171 

2,501 

961 

5.784 

205 
820 

7'4 
326 

7,133    1104     989     20,125 


614 
430 
5'6 
209 
528 
37 
24 
229 
694 
36' 
552 
542 

'93 
297 

27 

280 
900 


35 
77 
84 

53 
4 

24 

10 

40 

16  I 

76 

58 
"5 

38 
365 

II 

38 


502       39 
198  I     21 


16 
99 
SS 
33 
10 

24 
II 
30 

22 
48 
48 

117 
31 

350 

7 
8 

22 

43 

as 


I 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


73 


Table  showing  by  Towns  the  Area  of  Farm  Lands  ;  the  Value  of  Farms,  of  Farm  Buildings,  of  Live 
Stock  and  of  Implements ;  the  Area  of  Crops,  and  the  Amount  of  Agricultural  Production's  of  Onon- 
daga County. — Census  of  1875. — (Continued.) 


CIVIL  DIVIS- 
IONS. 


HOPS. 


P0T.\T0ES. 


TOBACCO. 


APPLE  ORCHARDS. 


Area. 


Area. 


Produced. 
1S74. 

1S74. 

187s. 

1874. 

IS75. 

1S74. 

Acres.        Acres. 


Pounds. 


Acres.        Acres. 


Bushels. 


Area. 

Produced. 

1S74. 

Trees. 

Fruit 
produced. 

1874. 

Cider 
made 

1874. 

18-4.                  I87S. 

Sq.  Rods.        Sq.  Rods. 

Pounds. 

Number. 

Bushels. 

Barrels. 

Camillus. . . , 

Cicero 

Clay 

De  Witt  ... 
Elbridge.  . . 

Fabius 

Geddes. . . . 
La  Fayette. 
Lysander  . 
Manlius. . . . 
Marcellus. . 
Onondaga  . 

Otisco 

Pompey.  . . . 

Salina 

Skaneateles 
Spafford  ... 
Syracuse.  . . 

Tully 

Van  Buren . . 
Total . . , 


31 

4 
21 


16 

78 


5 
35 
32 
34 

I 

15 


292 


3  1,750  533 

1      618 

5         1,35°  852 

50       19.950  444 

4  4,816  377 
23    8,977  250 

253 

2  1,900  448 

18    8,305  935 

116   41,512  579 

269 

1,061 

12     800  359 

34  8,600  650 
60   27,917  447 

35  24-797  347 
8     430  256 

15   10,000  26 

159 

17    6,800  423 

403  167,904  9,286 


685 

73' 
1,038 
527 
435 
289 
219 
464 
1,298 
623 
279 

1,147 

327 
662 

575 
353 
254 
24 
170 
661 


62,492 
60,186 

92,579 
48,136 
44,865 
33,222 
34,560 

55,979 

102,079 

58,225 

33010, 
134,636 
49,520 
81,465 
49,924 
41,546 
33.656 
3,290 
23,595 
53-444 


10,160 
4,720 

28,200 
4,320 

12,460 


2,160 

>        5, 120 

>      30,440 

'        5,000 

)        8,680 
3      

68,677 

32,547 
199,877 

3'. 279 
96,794 


10,758  1,096,409 


160      1,500 

64,240  60,600  463,349 

12,600  9,120  89,300 

8,320  9,120  60,472 

1,440  400  12,700 

1,120  400  6,000 

3,620  3,090  21,252 

5,720  5,400  57,510 

4,540  1,040  33,699 

40   100 

45,280  30.480  326,299 

206,940  171,0501,501,355 


16,540 
24,609 

30,757 
13,970 

14,673 
12,160 

5205 
26,094 
27,280 
24.698 
20,150 
44,846 
14,632 
27,174 

8,457 
25-567] 
19,476: 

1,569 
10,525 
18.S13, 


44,455 
34,680 

55,585 
35,458 
31.129 
18,772 

15,631 
26.027 
76,676 
42,096 
29,610 
80,302 
26,800 

34,933 
21,628 

38,793 
29,124 

4,995 
20,743 
47,275 


1,066 

857 
1.407 

1,259 
1,204 

497 
384 

1,315 

1,942 

1,669 
913 

2,375 

713 

1,017 

464 
916 
664 

95 

410 

1,038 


386895714712  20,205 


GRAPES. 

MAPLE  SUGAR,!                      "O^^ES  ON  FARMS,                                           POULTRY. 

1                                           JUNE    I,    loyS- 

CIVIL  DIVISIONS. 

Fruit            Wine 
produced.        made. 

1874.         !      1874. 

Honey                       ,                                         Mules  on 
Sugar     !     Syrup       collected                                                            '^'  "'^,     Value  owned, 
made.     |    made.     1  in  1S74.      Colts  of!  Colts  of  Two  ye.irs  J"?'^   "' 

187s.     '     1874.     1    old  and        ">75.              ,§75. 
1S75.       1      187s.                                         1                  1      over. 

1 

Value  sold.  Value  of  eggs 
sold. 
1874.               1874. 

Pounds.        Gallons. 

Pounds. 

Gallons.     Pounds.  !  Number.    Number.  1  Number.    Number.        Dollars. 

Dollars.          Dollars. 

Camillus 

Cicero   

8,430        

6  6Sa         ?8 

150 

44      8,291              29             26'          800             23            5.510 
TCT        -?T'7,*^                60                ,^r             R-^r,                                  e  r,T  A 

3,582            4,689 

5,785            5,907 
4,607            6,131 
2,681            2,960 
2,404            2,310 
630            2,191 

599           882 
2,804        5,946 
5,912         6,810 
3,068        4,823 
3,248         7,276 
7,064       10,332 
2,120        3,831 
2,950        6,716 

998         1,378 
4,055        5,553 
2,493        5-490 

140      

1,574        2,835 
4,259        5,758 

Clay 

0^10                          -2                  1  00                     A  A          46"70                     6C                      n  A           T     T  aR                     77                   ft    f^fl'7 

De  Witt 

Elbridge 

9,390                     60             I            

3,113                23               41             798                   4 

2,760          28          33        834          25 

1,910         55         26'       497,           7 

210         15           9       239           6 

773         38         44       758          13 
4,'o5         85        III     1,431         35 
7,488         63,         80     1,219          15 
1,590         421         49       742           8 
5,125         62         93,    1,582         25 
3,475          36*         44        506          II 
1,742          83          94     1,236          18 

4,455 
4,727 
1,781 
1,069 

5,633 
8,170 
6,894 

5,507 
14.382 

3,519 
7,204 
1,926 
6,090 
4.746 
'  52 
2,617 
5,346 

Fabius 

30             .... 

1,700             .... 

2,388             .... 

325                      18 

18  2c;o           810 

7..790        349 
i      650 

6,295|       731 
6oo|       236 

Geddes   

La  Fayette 

Lysander 

Manlius 

Marcellus 

Onondaga  

Otisco 

2S0     ....      675,      141 

37,770       36      740;       74 
3,100      100   9,037'      251 
1,165        16   8,304    1,101 

3,395      10    ....:   .... 

2,660      42  5,485     701 

150    ....  8,590    338 

4,500      70    

5,206       2  4,292     126 
1,105    ••••,      101       7 

Pompey 

Salina 

Skaneateles 

Spafford 

City  of  Syracuse. . 

Tully 

Van  Buren 

Total 

9,121          63 

13-375          80 

....            2 

2,941          27 

3,039         39 

-0                 JT' 

73        603            8 

63        599            5 
2;         27            2 

35       398           2 
62i       853      .... 

118,568  1,405  52,781:  4,958 

77,336       905 

1,059  15,441        234 

102,209 

60,973      91,818 

74 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


Tadle  showing  by  Towns  the  Area  of  Farm  Lands  ;  the  Value  of  Faims.  of  Farm  Buildings,  of  Live 
Stock  and  of  Implements  ;  the  Area  of  Crops,  and  the  Amount  of  Agricultural  Productions  of  Onon- 
daga  County. —Census  of  1875.— i  Continued.)  


CIVIL  DIVIS- 
IONS 


DAIRY  PRODUCTS. 


Hn 


M 1 1   11   Cow!, 
Nl  Mti  t«  Kr  p  T. 


•■  ■V4 


MOM  MllK 
WAV  MVT  ToFaC- 
TOUY. 


Bultcr  made    Chccx  nutle  Milk  mU  m 
ia  ^«»"'i'** 


Tin 
jcanoM. 


Y«u»i«>.    Cilv. 


.1 


i»7«. 


1I74. 


••7$.     !         I»7«. 


i  Number.    Number.   Nambw.    Nnnbcr.   Nonber. !  Number.   Number.   Number.  Number.    Number.       Pousdi. 


1*74. 


market. 
1S74. 


PoumI*. 


CaDoDS. 


Camillus 

Cicero 

Clay 

De  Witt.... 
Elbridge  . . . 

Fabius 

Geddes 

LaF.iyette  . . 
Lysander  — 

Manilas 

Marcellus.  . 
Onondaga.  . 

Otisco 

Pompey 

Salina 

Skaneateles. 
Spafford .  . . . 
Syracuse  . . . 

Tully 

Van  Buren. . 
Total . . . 


256 

264 

342 

3«7 

343 

472 

380 

4«5 

5'3 

'57 

'73 

230 

J'5 

»55 

274 

>44 

282 

382 

69 

75 

53 

-'«.S 

30 ' 

i93 

4:6 

5'8 

672 

274 

342 

475 

'S' 

196 

244 

464 

573 

6S4 

267 

281 

3»2 

49' 

559 

765 

47 

93 

84 

262 

222 

292 

280 

306 

398 

"; 

'9 

25 

'74 

308 

253 

3»7 

379 

478 

5-005 

S.804 

7.347 

1,170 

1,209 

'•935 

2.037 

2,040 

2,037 

'•379 

1,476 

1,229 

'.239 

2,762 

2,706 

400 

403 

1,607 

1,600 

2.383 

2.439 

'.797 

'.947 

1,091 

1,072 

J,3o8 

2,306 

1,207 

1,15' 

2.956 

3."o 

682 

698 

'.'97 

1,228 

1,242 

1,292 

38 

30 

1,261 

1.2.^9 

1,272 

1,386 

29.956  30,505 


92            112            217  132,115 

'34   796   834  154.536 

207   467    541  192.292 

57    157    146  88,578 

72   420   431  97,001 

91  1,709  1,504  130,836 

9    40 20,640 

'23   336   278  162.255 

128   975  1,018  190,468 

94   587    698  134,446 

55    84 j  144,400 

21    43 '4'.3'9 

60 j  I4'.746[ 

218  1,838  1,991  245,077] 

6 26,905 

141     14    2'  142,385 

79 207,260 

5 '-950 

68   309   370  123,188 

88    64    67  143,630 

".748  7.95'  8,0062,720,027 


1,650  3,470 
54,487  10,079 
25,008   25,855 

550  363^377 
11,766   10,595 

'59.300 

142,827 

200     290 

7,600   19,150 

1^0   25,241 

",737 

,900  199,234 

9.350      80 

14,427   40,998 

88  197,061 

6,442   10,947 

2.030 

100,978:   10,000 

13.038! 

420,731  1,059,204 


SHEEP. 


SWINE. 


NuMua  Shoui.        Wiight  or  CLir.  ,    Lauu  Raiud. 


CIVIL   DIVISIONS 


Slamth-     KiUed  by  O"  f  *»•"  J"""  ■' "'»^  Slaughtered     Pork  made 
terST        dc«.^ ,    "'f»™»-         on&rm. 


i»7«. 


•»75. 


It7«. 


l»75. 


l«74. 


|»7J.         1874. 


dogs. 
>»74. 


Pigi  of     Of  1874  and  1874. 

1117s.  older.       I 


1874. 


Camillus 

Cicero  

Clay 

De  Witt 

Elbridge 

Fabius 

Geddes  

La  Faytitte 

Lysander 

Manlius 

Marcellus 

Onondaga  

Otisco 

Pompey 

Salina  

Skanc.itelcs 

SpatTord 

City  of  Syracuse. 

Tully 

Van  Buren 

Total 


Number.   Number.  Pounda.  '  Pounda.  Number.  Number.  Number.  Number.  Number.   Number.  I  Number. 


Pounda. 


5.002 
1,020 

1,288 

1.57^' 
3.064 

439 
320 
3.068 
3,281 
2,198 
4,066 
3.840 
2,013 
5-301 
338 
5.224 

3,37' 

16 

1,002 

2,432 

47.859 


3,269  24,220 
995  4.47. 


'.283 

1,487 

2,756 

436 

224 


5.588 
9. '38 
'5.959 
3,i8S 
1,712 


3,778  15,878 
2,122  10,416 

2.34'  '2.3 '3 
3,841  23,799 

2.733  20,324 

1.976  11,132 

4.836  30,526 

199  1,228 

4,578  30.332 
3,274*20,358 

'25 

593  5,096 
2,235  ".861 

41,956256665 


i7.3'o 
4.414 
5,477 
9.235 

'5382 
2,170 

'.15' 
14,618 


'.703 
737 
984 

1,026 

',255 
238 

'75 
1,328 


9.759 

',592 

'2.977 

1,081 

22,333 

1,628 

i5.'4o 

'.871 

1 1,116 

907 

27.861 

1.739 

9'3 

251 

26,373 

1,991 

19,226 

1,286 

20 

3.038 

603 

10,631 

1.313 

229134 

21,728 

1,706 

73' 

971 

737 

1,217 

394 
'05 
'•397 
',793 
1.112 
1,658 
1,860 
1.065 
1,636 
168 
2,269 
1,411 

569 
'.285 

33,084 


96 
83 
95 
63 
56 
8 

36 
118 

61 
140 

94 

94 

36 
116 

30 
258 

88 

16, 

9 
68 


"9 

93 

55 
12 

16 
10 
16 
73 
33 
37 
18 
48 
20 
94 
17 

35 
1 1 


8 
29 


903 
1.007 
1,202 

632 

675 

366 

166 

688 

1,220 

1,015 

476 

1.786 

614 

840 

371 
878 
611 
81 
297 
9'3 


846 
969 

'-905 
705 
575 
434 
144 
878, 

1,273 

1,366 
729 

2,162 

393 
981 
441 

544 
856 

56 
596 
905 


787 
969 

1,192 

73' 
898 

293 
'30 
712 

'.537 
1,022 

757 

',643 

600 

1,024 

239 
1,027 

531 
28 

338 

937 


190,031 
24',536 

275,055 
168,050 
206,333 
83.596 
33.83s 
188,321 
374,88s 

253,843 
190,620 

414,093 
147,192 
270,102 

55,694 

226,057 

132,828 

6,100 

88,776 
223,264 


1,555   644  14,741   16,758   15,3953,770,8" 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


75 


CHAPTER  XVni. 

Judicial  and  Executive  Officers  under  Her- 
kimer County — Onondaga  County  Civil  List 
— Military  Organization  —  Population  of 
THE  County  from  iSog  to  1875. 

THE  following  were  judicial  and  executive  offi- 
cers for  Herkimer  county  from  1791  to 
1794,  while  Onondaga  was  a  part  of  that  county : 
Henri  Staring,  First  Judge  and  Justice  of  the 
Peace  ;  Michael  Myers,  Hugh  White  and  Abraham 
Hardenburgh,  Judges  and  Justices  of  the  Peace  ; 
John  Bank,  Patrick  Campbell,  Jedediah  Sanger, 
Amos  Whitmore,  William  Veeder,  Alexander  Park- 
man  and  Ephraim  Blackman,  Assistant  Judges  and 
Justices  of  the  Peace ;  Seth  Phelps,  Moses  De 
Witt,  Asa  Danforth,  Edward  Payne  and  others. 
Justices  of  the  Peace  ;  William  Colbraith,  Sheriff; 
Jonas  Piatt,  Clerk ;  Moses  DeWitt,  Surrogate ; 
John  Post  and  Daniel  White,  Coroners. 

In  1793,  for  Herkimer  county,  were  reappointed 
Seth  Phelps,  Asa  Danforth,  Moses  DeWitt,  J.  L. 
Hardenburgh  and  Silas  Halsey,  Assistant  Justices 
and  Justices  of  the  Peace. 

Judges  of  Onondaga  County  from  1794  to 
1878. — Seth  Phelps,  First  Judge  ;  Silas  Halsey, 
John  Richardson  and  Moses  DeWitt,  Judges  and 
Justices  of  the  Peace,  1794;  William  Stevens, 
Judge,  1795  ;  Asa  Danforth,  Judge,  1797  ;  William 
Stevens,  First  Judge,  1799;  Elihu  Lewis,  Ebenezer 
Butler,  Asa  Danforth,  Judges  and  Justices  of  the 
Peace;  Dan  Bradley,  Judge,  1801  ;  John  Ballard, 
Judge,  1802;  William  J.  Vredenburgh,  Judge, 
1804  ;  Reuben  Humphreys,  Judge  ;  Reuben  Hum- 
phreys, First  Judge  ;  Dan  Bradley,  John  Ballard 
and  William  J.  Vredenburgh,  Judges  and  Justices 
of  the  Peace,  1805  ;  Dan  Bradley,  First  Judge, 
1808  ;  Squire  Munro,  Roswell  Tousley  and  Wil- 
liam J.  Vredenburgh,  Judges  ;  Jonathan  Stanley 
and  Ozias  Burr,  Judges,  1809;  Jacob  R.  DeWitt, 
James  Geddes  and  Sylvanus  Tousley,  Judges,  1812  ; 
Joshua  Forman,  First  Judge,  1813  ;  Reuben  Hum- 
phreys, Judge,  1814;  Jacob  R.  DeWitt,  Squire 
Munro,  Amos  Tousley  and  John  TenEyck,  Judges, 
1815  ;  James  O.  Wattles  and  Warren  Hecox, 
Judges,  1818  ;  Jonathan  Stanley,  Squire  Munro, 
Levi  Mason  and  James  Webb,  Judges,  1819 ; 
Nehemiah  H.  Earll,  First  Judge ;  John  Mason, 
George  Pettit  and  James  Sisson,  Jr.,  Judges,  1S23  ; 
Nehemiah  H.  Earll,  First  Judge,  1828  ;  George 
Pettit,  Martin  M.  Ford,  Otis  Bigelow  and  John 
Smith,  Judges,  1828  ;  Samuel  L.  Edwards,  First 
Judge,  1831;  John  Watson,  Judge,  1833;  Otis 
Bigelow,  David  Munro,  George  Pettit  and  James  M. 


Allen,  Judges  ;  Grove  Lawrence,  First  Judge,  183S; 
Nathan  Soule,  Oliver  R.  Strong,  Lyman  H.  Mason 
and  Johnson  Hall,  Judges ;  Daniel  Pratt,  First 
Judge,  1843  ;  John  L.  Stevens,  George  A.  Stans- 
bury,  Lyman  Kingsley,  Amasa  H.  Jerome,  Judges  ; 
James  R.  Lawrence,  Judge,  1847;  Richard  Wool- 
worth,  Judge,  1850,  appointed  vice  J.  R.  Lawrence, 
resigned;  Israel  Spencer,  Judge,  elected,  1850; 
Richard  Woolworth,  Judge,  elected  1854;  Henry 
Riegel,  elected  1S62,  reelected  each  subsequent 
term  and  present  Judge  of  the  County  Court. 

Judges  of  the  Supreme  Court. — The  follow- 
ing have  been  Judges  of  the  Supreme  Court  resi- 
dent in  Onondaga  county  :  Hon.  Daniel  Pratt, 
Syracuse,  for  four  years,  elected  June  7,  1847  ;  re- 
elected November  4,  185 1.  Hon.  LeRoy  Morgan, 
Syracuse,  for  eight  years,  elected  November  8, 
1859  ;  reelected  November  5,  1867,  for  eight  years, 
Hon.  James  Noxon,  Syracuse,  elected  November, 
1875,  for  fourteen  years  from  January  i,  1876. 

The  old  Supreme  Court  of  Judicature,  existing 
prior  to  the  Constitution  of  1846,  had  one  Chief 
Justice,  a  resident  of  this  county,  viz  :  Hon.  Free- 
born G.  Jewett,  of  Skaneateles,  in  1845. 

Judges  of  the  Court  of  Appeals. — The 
Judges  of  the  Court  of  Appeals  who  have  been 
residents  of  this  count}'  are  as  follows  :  Hon. 
Freeborn  G.  Jewett,  Skaneateles,  two  years,  elected 
June  7,  1847  ;  Hon.  George  F.  Comstock,  Syracuse, 
elected  November  7,  1853  ;  Hon.  Charles  Andrews, 
Syracuse,  elected  May,  1870,  fourteen  years,  to 
expire  December  31,  1884. 

Hon.  Daniel  Pratt  and  Hon.  LeRoy  Morgan, 
Justices  of  the  Supreme  Court,  were  ex  officio 
Judges  of  the  Court  of  Appeals,  the  former  from 
January  i,  1S50,  to  January  i,  185 1,  and  the  latter 
from  January  i,  1866,  to  January  i,  1867. 

United  States  District  Court. — Northern 
District  of  New  York. — The  following  have  been 
officers  of  this  Court,  resident  in  this  County : 
Joseph  F.  Sabin,  United  States  Commissioner, 
1850;  James  R.  Lawrence,  United  States  District 
Attorney,  1850;  Harry  Allen,  United  States  Mar- 
shal. The  first  Deputy-Marshal  was  Peter  Way, 
deceased  ;  William  Cahill,  appointed  in  his  stead. 
B.  Davis  No.xon,  United  States  Commissioner,  ap- 
pointed Oct.  22,  1867;  William  C.  Ruger,  United 
States  Commissioner,  appointed  July  8,  1858; 
Daniel  F.  Gott,  Register  in  Bankruptcy,  appointed 
May  10,  1867;  A.  Judd  Northrup,  United  States 
Commissioner,  appointed  March  22,  1870;  Daniel 
F.  Gott,  United  States  Commissioner,  appointed 
April  2,  1872;  William  J.  Wallace,  Judge,  ap- 
pointed April  7,  1874. 


76 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


Slkrugatks  fuk  Onondaga  Culntv  i  kdm  171^4- 
TO  187.S.— Moses  Dc  Witt,  1794;  Thomas  Mum- 
ford,  1795  ;  Thaddcus  M.  Wood,  1800;  George 
Hall,  1803;  Mcdad  Curtis.  1810;  George  Hall, 
i8n  ;  James  Porter,  i8ii  ;  Freeborn  G.  Jewett, 
1824;  John  Fleming,  1831;  Isaac  T.  Minard, 
1840;  David  D.  Hillis,  1844;  Isaac  T.  Minard, 
1847  ;  L.  Harris  Hiscock,  185 1  ;  Amasa  II.  Jerome, 
1855  ;  Samuel  D.  Luce,  1859;  Oscar  L.  Sprague, 
1863  :  De  Witt  C.  Greenfield,  1S65  ;  Cyrus  Sweet, 
1869,  reelected  each  subsequent  term  and  present 
incumbent.  No  Special  Surrogates  have  ever  been 
appointed  in  this  County. 

Clekks  of  Ononiiaga  County  from  1794  to 
1878. — Benjamin  Lcdyard,  appointed,  1794  ;  Com- 
fort Tyler,  1799;  Jasper  Hopper,  1802;  George 
W.  Olmsted,  1 8 10  ;  Jasper  Hopper,  1811;  Tru- 
man Adams,  1818  ;  Daniel  Mosely,  1823  ;  Reuben 
L.  Hess,  1826;  Alanson  Edwards,  1835:  Elijah 
Rhoades,  elected,  1838;  Charles  T.  Hicks,  1841  ; 
Vivus  W.  Smith,  1846;  Rufus  Cossit,  1849;  Bern- 
ard Slocum,  1852;  Edwin  P.  Hopkins,  1S55  ;  Vic- 
tory J.  Birdseye,  1858;  Elijah  S.  Payne,  1861  ; 
Carroll  E.  Smith,  1864;  Theodore  L.  Poole,  1S67; 
Edgar  E.  Ewers,  1870  ;  Charles  A.  Hurd,  elected 
November,  1873— died  before  entering  upon  the 
duties  of  his  office  ;  Charles  E.  Hubbcll,  elected  at 
special  election,  December  27,  1873;  Thomas  H. 
Scott,  elected,  November,  1876 — present  incum- 
bent. 

Sheriffs  of  Onondaga  County  from  1794  to 
1878.- John  Harris,  1794  ;  Abiather  Hull,  1796; 
Comfort  Tyler.  1797;  Elnathan  Beach,  1799; 
Ebenczer  R.  Hawley,  1801  ;  Elijah  Phillips,  1805  ; 
Robert  Earll,  1S09;  Elijah  Rust,  1813  ;  Jonas 
Earll,  1814;  llezekiah  L.  Granger,  1818  ;  Jonas 
Earll,  1819;  Luther  Marsh,  1823;  Lewis  Smith, 
1826;  John  H.  Johnson,  1829;  Johnson  Hall, 
1832  ;  Dorastus  Lawrence,  1835  ;  Elihu  L.  Phillips, 
1838  ;  Frederick  Benson,  1841  ;  Heber  Wcthcrby, 
1844;  Joshua  C.  Cuddeback,  1846;  William  C. 
Gardner,  1849;  Holland  W.  Chadwick,  1852; 
James  M.  Munro,  1855  ;  George  L.  Maynard,  1858; 
Byron  D.  Benson,  1861  ;  Jarcd  C.  Williams,  1864; 
DeWitt  C.  Toll,  1S67  ;  William  Evans,  1870  ;  Davis 
Cossitt,*  1873  ;  John  J.  Meldram,  elected  November, 
tSjC) — present  Sherifl". 

Treasurers  of  Onondaga  County  from  1794 
to  1878. — Appointed  by  the  Board  of  Supervisors  : 
Moses  Carpenter,  May  27,  1794;  Jacob  R.  DeWitt, 
1799;  Jacobus  DePuy,  October  i,  1805  ;  Oliver  R, 

*  The  official  ligiMlurc  of  Mr.  Cowitt  ihowi  that  he  tpclli  hii  name 
with  two  final  "  t'l."  Hit  father,  Rufiu  Couit,  and  other  membera  of 
the  family,  ipelled  their  name  with  one  final  "t." 


Strong,  October  5.  1809 — resigned  November  11, 
1830;  Moses  S.  Marsh,  appointed  November  12, 
— declined  November  13,  1830;  Hezckiah  Strong, 
appointed  November  13,  1830, — died  1842  ;  Benja- 
min F.  Colvin,  appointed  November,  1842  ;  George 
B.  Walters,  December,  1844;  Phares  Gould, 
November,   1845. 

The  office  of  County  Treasurer  was  made  elective 
by  the  people,  in  1846,  since  when  the  following 
persons  have  been  elected  :  Cornelius  M.  Bros- 
nan,  elected  November,  1846;  entered  on  the 
duty  of  his  office  January  i,  1847, —  resigned 
December  9,  1848  ;  Wheeler  Truesdell,  appointed 
to  fill  vacancy,  December  9,  1848  ;  elected 
Treasurer,  January  i,  1849:  Columbus  C.  Bradley, 
elected  November,  1851,  entered  upon  his  office 
January  1,  1S52  :  Barton  M.  Hopkins,  elected 
November,  1S54  ;  Patrick  H.  Agan,  November, 
1857  ;  Henry  W.  Slocum,  November,  i860;  Dudley 
P.  Phelps,  November,  1863  ;  Park  Wheeler,  Novem- 
ber, 1866;  George  H.  Gilbert,  November,  1869; 
Charles  W.  Ostrander,  November,  1872  ;  Robert 
Hewitt,  elected  November,  1875,  present  Treasurer. 

Members  of  Congress  from  Onondaga  County 
and  the  District  of  which  it  was  part,  from 
1802  TO  1878. — The  Colonial  Congress  was  entitled 
to  si.\  delegates  from  New  York.  After  the  adop- 
tion of  the  Constitution,  the  number  entitled  to 
seats  from  this  State  was  still  si.\,  in  the  first  and 
second  Congresses,  from  1789  to  1791.  In  1792,  a 
new  apportionment  was  made  under  which  ten 
members  were  allowed  to  New  York.  In  1802,  the 
counties  of  Onondaga,  Tioga  and  Chenango  were 
formed  into  one  Congressional  District  (the  Ninth> 
and  were  entitled  to  one  member. 

In  the  9th  Congress,  Hon.  Eri  Tracy  of  Chenango, 
was  elected  to  represent  the  district.  Of  the  same 
Congress,  Hon.  Silas  Halsey,  of  Cayuga,  formerly 
a  Judge  of  Onondaga  County  Courts,  was  also  a 
member. 

In  the  loth  Congress,  Hon.  Reuben  Humphreys, 
of  Onondaga,  represented  the  Thirteenth  District ; 
Hon.  John  Harris,  of  Cayuga,  formerly  Sheriff  of 
Onondaga  county,  was  a  member  from  the  Four- 
teenth District  ;  and  Hon.  William  Kirkpatrick, 
Superintendent  of  the  Onondaga  Salt  Springs,  rep- 
resented the  Eleventh  District.  Hon.  Eri  Tracy 
represented  the  Sixteenth  District  in  the  nth  and 
12th  Congresses  (1809  to  1813.)  In  1813-14,  in 
the  13th  Congress,  Hon.  James  Gcddes  represented 
the  new  district  ^Nineteenth)  composed  of  the 
counties  of  Onondaga  and  Cortland.  In  the  14th 
Congress  (18 15-161  Victory  Birdseye  was  Represen- 
tative ;  15th,  James  Porter;  i6th,  George  Hall ;  17th 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


77 


and  1 8th,  Elisha  Litchfield  ;  19th,  Luther  Badger  ; 
20th  and  2ist,  Jonas  Earll,  Jr. ;  22d,  Freeborn  G. 
Jewett ;  23d,  24th  and  25th,  William  Taylor  ;  26th, 
Nehemiah  H.  Earll  ;  27th,  Victory  Birdseye  ;  28th 
and  29th,  Horace  Wheaton  ;  30th  and  31st,  Daniel 
Gott.  [In  1822  Onondaga  was  a  district  alone,  till 
1832,  when  it  was  made  a  joint  district  with  Madi- 
son county,  and  entitled  to  two  members.  In  1842 
it  was  again  a  single  district,  as  it  now  stands  ;] 
32d  and  33d,  Daniel  T.  Jones;  34th  and  35th, 
Amos  P.  Granger  ;  36th  and  37th,  Charles  B. 
Sedgwick  ;  38th  and  39th,  Thomas  T.  Davis  ;  40th 
and  41st,  Dennis  McCarthy  ;  42d  and  43d,  R.  Hol- 
land Duell  ;  44th  and  45th,  Frank  Hiscock. 

State  Sen.^tors  for  Onondaga  County  from 
1799  TO  1878. — At  the  time  of  the  adoption  of  the 
first  Constitution  of  the  State  of  New  York  in  1777, 
Tryon  county  was  entitled  to  six  members  of 
Assembly  and  the  State  was  divided  into  four 
Senatorial  Districts.  The  Western  District  was 
composed  of  the  counties  of  Albany  and  Tryon, 
and  six  Senators  were  annually  chosen  from  the  body 
of  the  freeholders  of  the  State  for  the  term  of  four 
years.  As  the  population  of  the  country  increased 
various  alterations  were  made,  and  Senators  were 
chosen  at  large  for  the  Western  District.  But  it 
seems  that  Senators  were  not  over  punctual  in  their 
attendance  from  the  western  part  of  the  State. 
From  the  Journal  of  the  Senate  we  find  the  follow- 
ing members  in  attendance  from  Onondaga  up  to 
1822  :*  Moss  Kent,  1799  ;  Jedediah  Sanger,  1800; 
William  Stewart,  1801  ;  Joseph  Annin,  (Cayuga) 
1802  ;  Asa  Danforth,  1803  ;  (none  from  Onondaga 
county  from  1806  to  1815  ;)  Henry  Seymour,  18 16, 
'17, '18  and '19;  none  in  1821  and  '22.  (After 
the  change  of  the  Constitution  in  1822  the  State 
was  divided  into  eight  Senatorial  Districts.  The 
Seventh  was  composed  of  Onondaga,  Cayuga, 
Seneca  and  Ontario  counties,  after  which  we  have 
the  following  Senators  from  Onondaga)  :  Jonas 
Earll,  Jr.,  1823;  Victory  Birdseye,  1827;  Hiram 
F.  Mather,  1829;  Samuel  L.  Edwards,  1833; 
Elijah  Rhoades,  1841  ;  James  Sedgwick,  1845. 
(Senators  under  the  Constitution  of  1846)  :  George 
Geddes,  1848,  '49,  '50  and  '51  ;  James  Munro, 
1852,  'S3,  '54  and  '55  ;  James  Noxon,  1856  and  '57  ; 
John  J.  Foote,  1858  and '59;  Allen  Munroe,  i860, 
'61,  '62  and  '63  ;  Andrew  D.  White,  1864,  '65,  '66 
and '67 ;  George  N.  Kennedy,  1868,  '69, '70  and 
'71  ;  Daniel  P,  Wood,  1872,  '73.  '74  and  '75  ; 
Dennis  McCarthy,  1876  and '77,  present  Senator. 

Members  of  Assembly  for  Onondaga  County 
FROM  1794  TO  1878. — Michael  Myers  was  elected  a 

*  I  Clark's  Onondaga,  397. 


Member  from  Herkimer  in  1792.     After  the  organi- 
zation of  Onondaga  county,  it  was   a  joint  district 
with  Herkimer,  and  Jedediah  Sanger  represented  the 
two  counties  in  the  House  in  i794-'95.     There  was 
no  return  for  Member  of  Assembly  for  either  Her- 
kimer or  Onondaga  for  the  years  1796  and  1797. 
Comfort  Tyler  and  Silas  Halsey  were  Members  for 
Onondaga  in    1798  and   1790.     In  the  latter  year 
Cayuga  was  taken  off,  and  Ebenezer  Butler  elected 
for  Onondaga  county  ;  also  Member  in  1800;    Asa 
Danforth,    1801   and   1802;  John  McWhorter  and 
John    Lamb,   1803  ;  James   Geddes  and  John  Mc 
Whorter,  1804:  William  J.  Vredenburgh  and  John 
Ballard,    1805  ;    Jasper    Hopper   and    William    J. 
Vredenburgh,  1806;  Ozias  Burr  and  Squire  Munro, 
1807  ;  Joshua  Forman  and  John  McWhorter,  1808  ; 
Jacobus  DePuyand  Barnet  Mooney,  1809  ;  Jacobus 
DePuy  and  Barnet  Mooney,    iSio;  Jasper  Hopper 
and    Robert    Earll,    181 1  ;  Jonathan   Stanley    and 
Barnet    Mooney,    1812 ;  Isaac    Smith    and    Moses 
Nash,    1813;    Moses   Nash   and    Barnet   Mooney, 
1814;  He'zekiah  L.   Granger   and   James    Porter, 
1815  ;  Truman  Adams,  Elijah  Miles,   George  Hall 
and   Nathan  Williams,    1816  ;     Gideon    Wilcoxon, 
James  Webb,  Asa  Wells  and  Elijah  Miles,  1817  ; 
David  Munro,  Abijah  Earll,  Asa  Wells  and  James 
Webb,   1818;    David  Munro,  Henry  Case,  Nathan 
Williams  and  Elisha  Litchfield,  1819  ;  Lewis  Smith, 
Jonas  Earll,  Jr.,  Henry  Seymour  and  Henry  Field, 
1820;  Jonas  Earl,  Jr.,  Lewis  Smith, George  Pettitand 
Jonathan    Deming,    1821  :    James  Geddes,    David 
Munro,    Josephus    Baker  and   Sylvester  Gardner, 
1822  ;  Victory  Birdseye,   Timothy    Baker,  Samuel 
L.  Edwards  and  Harrold  White,  1823;  Samuel  L. 
Edwards,  Timothy  Baker,  George  Pettit  and  Mat- 
thew Van  Vleck,  1824  ;  James  R.  Lawrence,  Moses 
Kinne,  James  Pettit  and  Erastus  Baker,  1825  ;  John 
G.  Forbes,  David  Willard,  Freeborn  G.  Jewett  and 
Chauncey  Betts,   1826;  Daniel  Mosely,   Chauncey 
Betts,  Charles  Jackson    and   Aaron    Burt,    1827  ; 
Timothy  Barber,  Aaron  Burt,  Daniel  Baxter  and 
Gideon   Frothingham,  1828  ;  Lewis  Smith,  Samuel 
R.  Matthews,  Johnson  Hall  and  Herman  Jenkins, 
1829;  Johnson  Hall,  Dorastus  Lawrence,  Thomas 
J.  Gilbert  and  Timothy  Brown,  1830;  Thomas  J. 
Gilbert,  Otis  Bigelow,  Elisha  Litchfield  and  J.  H. 
Parker,  1831  ;  Miles  W.  Bennett,  Elisha  Litchfield, 
Elijah   W.  Curtis   and  Ichabod  Moss,  1832;    Asa 
Eastwood,  Elisha  Litchfield,  Myron  L.  Mills  and 
Gabriel  Tappan,   1833  ;  Oliver  R.  Strong,  Horace 
Wheaton,  Jared  H.  Parker  and  Squire  M.  Brown, 
1834;  George  Pettit,  John  Wilkinson,  Sanford  C. 
Parker  and  David  C.  Lytic,  1835  ;  Sanford  C.  Par- 
ker, John  Wilkinson,  David  Munro  and  Daniel  Den- 


78 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


ison,  1836;  Nathan  Soule,  Wm.  Porter,  Jr.,  George 
Pettit  and  Daniel  Denison,    1837  ;  Phares  Gould, 
Victor)'  Birdseyc,  James  R.  Lawrence  and  Azariah 
Smith,  1838  ;  James  R.  Lawrence,  Azariah  Smith, 
Pharos  Gould  and  James  L.  \'oorhees,  1839;  \"ictory 
Birdseyc,  Azariah  Smith,  James  R.  Lawrence  and 
Phares   Gould,    1S40;    Moses    D.   Burnet,   David 
Munro,  William  Taylor  and  William  Fuller,  1841  ; 
William  Taylor,  William  Fuller,  David  Munro  and 
John  Spencer,  1842:  Thomas  McCarthy,  Charles 
R.  Vary,  Benjamin  French  and  Thomas  Sherwood. 
1843  ;  Elisha  Litchfield,  Scth  Hutchinson,  Thomas 
G.  Alvord  and  Warner  Abbott  1844  ;  David  Pres- 
ton, Dennis   McCarthy,  Julius  C.  Kinnc  and  Lake 
L    Teft.    1845;    Lake   I.    Teft.   Julius    C.    Kinnc, 
Alonzo  Wood  and  Elihu  L.  Phillips.  1846  ;  Manoah 
Pratt,  William  Henderson,  John  Lakin  and  Joseph 
Prindlc,   1847;  Curtis  J.  Hurd,  Thomas  Spencer, 
Horace  Hazen  and  James  Little.  1848;  Joseph  J. 
Glass,  Myron  Wheaton,  Joseph  Slocum  and  Samuel 
Hart,    1849;  James    Little,    Benjamin   J.  Cowles, 
Elias  W.  Leavenworth  and   Harvey  G.Anderson, 
1850;    Demosthenes   C.    LeRoy,   John    F.  Clark, 
George  Stevens  and  Daniel  Denison,  185 1  ;  Lyman 
Norton,  William  E.  Tallman,  George  Stevens  and 
John  Merritt,  1852  ;  Alonzo  Case,  Samuel  S.  Knee- 
land,  Daniel   P.  Wood   and   Isaac  V.  V.  Hibbard. 
1853  ;  James  M.  Munro,  Milton  A.  Kinney.  Daniel 
P.  Wood    and    William   Richardson.   1854;  James 
M.  Munro.  William  J.  Machan.  Dudley  P.  Phelps 
and  Joshua   V.   H.    Clark,    1855  ;  Irvin  Williams. 
James  Longstreet,  lUirr  Burton  and  Jabez  Lewis. 
1856;  John  D.  Uhoades,  Sidney  Smith,  Elias  W. 
Leavenworth  and  Charles  M.  Meade,  1857  ;  James 
Frazee,  Thomas  G.  Alvord  and  Levi   S.    Holbrook, 
1858  ;     Luke  Ranncy.  Henry  W.  Slocum  and  Orin 
Aylsworth,     1859;     Jeremiah     Emerick,     Austin 
Myers  and  Philetus  Clark,  i860;    Jeremiah   Emer- 
ick, Austin   Myers  and   Abner   Chapman,   i86r  ; 
Frederick  A.  Lyman,  Thomas  G.  Alvord  and  R. 
Nelson  Gere,  1S62  ;  James  M.  Munro.  Elizur  Clark 
and  Joseph  Breed,  1863  ;  Albert  L.  Green,  Thomas 
G.  Alvord  and   Conrad   Shoemaker,   1864;  Albert 
L.  Green,  Daniel  P.  Wood  and  Harvey  P.  Tolman, 
1865  ;  Luke  Ranncy,  Daniel  P.  Wood  and  L.  Har- 
ris Hiscock,  1866;  Daniel  P.  Wood,  L.  Harris  His- 
cock  and  Samuel   Candee,    1867;    Augustus  G.  S. 
AUis,    Luke    Ranncy  and    Hiram     Eaton,   1868  ; 
James  V.  Kendall,  Moses   Summers    and  Miles  B. 
Hackctt,    1S69;    Thomas  G.   Alvord,  Nathan  R. 
TetTt  and  Gustavus  Sniper,  1870;  Thomas   G.  Al- 
vord.  Peter   Burns   and  Gustavus   Sniper,    1871  ; 
Thomas    G.    Alvord,    Peter    Burns   and   Gustavus 
Sniper,  1872;  Wm.   H.  H.  Gere,  George  Raynor 


and  John  I.  Furbcck,  1873  ;  Thomas  G.  Alvord. 
George  Barrow  and  Charles  Simon.  1874  ;  Allen 
Munroe,  Carroll  E.  Smith  and  C.  Fred.  Herbst, 
1875  ;  Thomas  G.  Alvord,   Carroll   E.  Smith  and 

C.  Fred.  Herbst.  1876;  Thomas  G.  Alvord.  Samuel 
Willis  and  Josiah  G.  Holbrook  1877  '78. 

Delegates  to  the  Convention  to  Revise  the 
Constiti;tion — 1822:  Victory  Birdseye,  Parley 
E.  Howe.  Amasi  Case.  Asa  Eastwood. 

Convention  of  1846:  William  Taylor.  Elijah 
Rhoades.  Cyrus  H.  Kingsley.  David  Munro. 

Convention  of  1867:  Hon.  Frank  Hiscock, 
Hon.  Charles  Andrews.  L.  Harris  Hiscock,  Hon. 
Thomas  G.  Alvord,  Patrick  Corbett. 

Members  of  the  Constitutional  Commission — 
1872:  Hon.  Elias  W.  Leavenworth  and  Hon. 
Daniel  Pratt. 

Rf.gf-nts  of  the  State  University. — The 
members  of  this  Board,  except  ex  officio  members, 
are  appointed  for  life,  unless  they  resign.  Hon. 
Elias  W.  Leavenworth,  as  Secretary  of  State,  was 
ex  officio  member  of  the  Board  in  1854  and  1855. 
He  was  appointed  a  member  permanently  Feb.  5, 
i86i,i'/<r<f  Jesse  Buell,  deceased.     Orris  H.  Warren, 

D.  D.,  appointed  a  member  of  this  Board,  vice  Dr. 
George,  resigned.  April   11,  1877. 

Other  State  Officers. — Hon.  Thomas  G. 
Alvord.  elected  Lieutenant  Governor  Nov.  8,  1S64; 
Speaker  of  the  House  of  Assembly.  June  26,  1858, 
and  Jan   5.  18G4. 

Hon.  E.  W.  Leavenworth,  elected  Secretary  of 
State  Nov.,  1853. 

Hon.  Daniel  Pratt  elected  Attorney  General 
Nov.  4.  1873. 

Gen.  Henry  A.  Barnum  elected  State  Prison  In- 
spector Nov.  7,  1S65. 

John  M.  Jaycox  elected  Canal  Commissioner 
Nov.  4,  1857  ;  Reuben  W.  Stroud  Nov.  4.  1872. 

Hon.  Elisha  Litchfield  elected  Speaker  of  the 
House  of  Assembly  Jan.  2,  1844. 

Hon.  Vivus  W.  Smith,  State  Appraiser,  appoint- 
ed Jan.  24,  1872.  vice  Samuel  North. 

First  Board  of  Supervisors  of  Onondaga 
County.  1794. — The  first  meeting  of  the  Board  of 
Supervisors  of  Onondaga  county  was  held  at  the 
house  of  Asa  Danforth,  in  the  town  of  Manlius.  on 
Wednesday,  May  27,1794  The  following  named 
persons  composed  the  Board  :  Silas  Halsey,  of 
Ovid  ;  Benjamin  Boardman,  of  Romulus  ;  Ezckiel 
Crane,  of  Aurelius ;  Comfort  Tyler,  of  Manlius  ; 
John  Stoyles,  of  Scipio ;  Moses  De  Witt,  of 
Pompey.  Not  present :  Wyllys  Bishop,  of  Milton  ; 
Robert     McDowell,    of    Ulysses ;     and     William 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


79 


Stevens,  of  Marcellus.     The  towns  of  Homer  and 
Lysander  were  not  then  organized. 

The  accounts  of  the  Board  were  kept  in  pounds, 
shillings,  pence  and  farthings,  till  the  year  1798. 
In  1794,  the  total  valuation  of  property  in  the 
county  was  ;£  19,479.  The  total  tax  raised  was 
£,2'/i.i'j-i\d.  In  1797  the  Board  of  Supervisors 
gave  the  following  :  Total  inhabitants,  1,759  »  total 
valuation  of  property,  ;g  146,679.37.  In  1799,  after 
Cayuga  was  set  off,  the  population  was  1,036. 

In  December,  1795,  the  Board  of  Supervisors  met 
in  Scipio,  then  included  in  Onondaga  county.  The 
following  report  of  their  action  is  copied  from  an 
original  manuscript  in  the  possession  of  Mr.  James 
W.  Gould,  of  Syracuse,  which  is  among  other  old 
and  valuable  relics  preserved  by  his  father,  who  was 
one  of  the  pioneers  of  Onondaga  : 

"  A  Resolve  of  the  Supervisors  at  their 
Meeting  in  Scipio." 

"  Resolved,  That  the  following  recommendations 
be  transmitted  to  the  different  towns  in  this  county 
by  their  respective  Supervisors,  viz  : 

Whereas,  The  Supervisors  of  the  county  of  On- 
ondaga have  many  inconveniences  by  the  various 
modes  taken  in  the  different  towns  in  assessing  the 
ratable  property  in  the  county,  have  thought  it  a 
duty  to  recommend  to  the  assessors  of  each  respect- 
ive town  next  to  be  chosen  in  said  town,  a  mode  of 
taking  the  valuation  of  property  which  appears  to 
us  the  most  eligible  in  our  local  situation,  desiring 
this  to  be  publicly  read  at  the  next  annual  town 
meeting,  which  uniform  mode  will  render  the  next 
Board  of  Supervisors,  our  successors  in  office,  more 
capable  of  doing  justice  in  levying  taxes  in  our  in- 
fant state,  viz : 

Estimate  as  follows  : 
Improved    lands   of   a  medium 

quality 20s.  per  acre. 

Working   oxen    of    a    medium 

quahty ;^i6         per  yoke. 

Cows  of  a  medium  quality £  5         per  piece. 

Young  cattle  of  three  years  old 

and  under 20s.  per  year. 

Horses  of  a  medium  quality ;^io         per  piece. 

Colts  three  years  old  and  under         40s.  per  year. 
Hogs  that  will  weigh  100  weight  20s.  per  piece. 

Negro    men £^0        per  head. 

Negro  wenches £^0        per  head. 

Grist  Mills ;^SO         per  piece. 

Saw  mills ;^30         per  piece. 

"  And  those  articles  of  an  inferior  and  superior 
quality,  in  proportion,  and  other  ratable  property  in 
like  proportion. 

"The  Board  further  recommends  to  the  consider- 
ation of  the  different  towns  the  following  mode  in 
making  the  assessment,  viz:  That  each  person  hold- 
ing ratable  property  shall  give  in  to  the  Assessor  a 
list  of  his  or  her  ratable  property  or  estate,  in  writ- 
ing, agreeable  to  the  request  of  the  Assessor, 
which  will  be  an  avoucher  to  the  Assessor,  and  pre- 


vent any  aspersions  of  injustice  of  being  taxed  un- 
equally by  those  having  that  part  of  duty  to  per- 
form in  society. 

"  The  Board  also  recommends  to  Assessors  that 
they  completely  make  out  their  list  of  assessments 
by  the  first  of  May,  as  the  law  directs,  so  that  the 
Supervisors  may  be  enabled  to  proceed  on  their 
business  at  their  first  meeting,  and  save  the  county 
cost. 

"And  further,  we  also  recommend  to  the  towns 
to  adopt  a  uniform  mode  of  granting  a  bounty  on 
wolves,  and  render  the  reward  of  each  man  in  his 
exertions  for  the  destruction  of  these  animals. 
Therefore,  with  submission,  we  think  a  reward  of 
forty  shillings,  in  addition  to  the  bounty  allowed  by 
the  county,  to  be  adequate  for  the  bounty  of  each 
wolf 

"  The  Board  submits  the  above  recommendations 
to  the  consideration  of  the  several  towns  in  the 
county  of  Onondaga. 

"  By  order  of  the  Board. 

Comfort  Tyler,  Clerk. 

"Scipio,  December  20th,  1795." 

Supervisors  for  1878. 

Camillus — Sidney  H.  Cook,  Jr. 
Clay — Jacob  W.  Coughtry. 
Cicero — Nelson  R  Eastwood. 
DeWitt— Josiah  G.  Holbrook. 
Elbridge — Alfred  D.  Lewis. 
Fabius — Newell  Rowley. 
Geddes — N.  Stanton  Gere. 
Lysander — J.  T.  Skinner. 
LaFayette — George  W.  Mclntyre. 
Manlius — Anson  Smith. 
Marcellus — Robert  E.  Dorchester. 
Onondaga — James  C.  Rann. 
Otisco — Henry  W.  Hotchkiss. 
Pompey— Marshal  R.  Dyer. 
Salina— George  Bassett. 
Skaneateles— John  H.  Gregory. 
Spafiford — Benjamin  McDaniels. 
Tully— Ellis  V.  King. 
Van  Buren— Augustus  W.  Bingham. 
First  Ward — Thomas  Nicholson. 
Second  Ward— Michael  Kohles. 
Third  Ward— William  H.  H.  Gere. 
Fourth  Ward— John  Rombach. 
Fifth  Ward— Egbert  Draper. 
Sixth  Ward— George  W.  Chase. 
Seventh  Ward— William  C.  Anderson. 
Eighth  Ward— H.  Wadsworth  Clarke. 

County  Officials,  1^,7^— Miscellaneous. 
Justices  of  Sessions— Martin  L.  Gardner,  Nava- 
rino  ;  George  W.  Hill,  Otisco. 

District  Attorney— Nathaniel  M.  White,  Bald- 

winsville. 


8o 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


Coroners — A.  J.  Dallas,  Syracuse  ;  S.  M.  Hig- 
gins,  Memphis;  Jonathan  Kneeland,  South  Onon- 
daga. 

Loan  Commissioners — Zenas  A.  Jones,  Pompey  ; 
J.  Maxon,  Elbridge. 

School  Commissioners — Richard  W.  McKinley, 
Collamer ;  James  W.  Hooper,  Geddes  ;  Robert 
Van  Keuren,  Jordan. 

Superintendent  of  the  Poor — Henry  H.  Loomis, 
Syracuse. 

Superintendent  of  the  Penitentiary — Jared  C. 
Williams,  Syracuse. 

Clerk  of  the  Board  of  Supervisors — Bingham  X. 
Bailey,  Syracuse. 

Report   of   the  Committee  on-   Equ.m.iz.-vtio.v, 
Passed  by  the  Board  of  Supervisors  Decem- 

BEK    14,    1877. 

To  the  Board  of  Supervisors  of  Onondaga  County  : 
Your  Committee  on  Equalization  would  beg 
leave  to  present  their  final  report,  as  embraced  in 
the  following  table,  showing  the  aggregate  corrected 
valuation  of  the  several  towns  of  the  count}'  and  the 
city  of  Syracuse,  upon  which  is  apportioned  the  State 
and  county  la.\,  which,  together  with  the  town  ta.\, 
makes  up  the  aggregate  tax  to  be  raised  in  the 
several  towns  and  the  city.  Your  committee  would 
therefore  offer  the  following  resolution  and  recom- 
mend its  adoption : 

Resolved,  That  the  aggregate  tax  set  opposite  the 
several  towns  of  the  county  and  city  of  Syracuse, 
as  exhibited  in  the  table  accompanying  this  report, 
be  levied  and  assessed  upon  the  taxable  property  of 
the  towns  and  city  respectively,  as  their  proportion 
of   the  State,  county  and  town  tax  for  the  year 

1877.        Respectfully  .submitted, 

A.  Van  Vleck,        Wm.  C.  Anderson, 

M.  R.  DVER,  J.  G.    HOLBROOK, 

A.  W.  Bingham,       N.  P.  Eastwood, 
O.  F.  SouLE,  W.  H.  H.  Gere, 

Committee.* 


Mr.  Kendall  moved  that  the  report  be  accepted 
and  the  resolution  adopted.      Carried,  as  follows  : 

AvES — Messrs.  Sherwood,  Coughtry,  Eastwood, 
Holbrook,  Van  Vleck,  Rowley,  N.  S.  Gere,  Kendall, 
Mclntyre,  Smith,  Comstock,  Niles,  Dyer,  Bassett, 
Earll,  Willis,  Bingham,  Avery,  Mason,  W.  H.  H. 
Gere,  Rombach,  Soule,  Chase,  Anderson,  Rose — 25. 

Nays — Messrs   Dorchester  and  Weston — 2. 

Military  Organization  for  Onondaga  Coun- 
ty— 1791. — On  the  8th  of  March,  1791,  the  fol- 
lowing appointments  were  made  for  Herkimer,  in 
Major  J.  L.  Hardenburgh's  battalion,  General  Vol- 
kert,  Veeder's  Brigade  :  Captains — Moses  DeWitt, 
Benjamin  Dey  and  Roswell  Franklin  ;  Lieutenants 
—  Jacob  Hart,  Hezekiah  Olcott,  Joshua  Patrick  and 
Josiah  Buck  ;  Ensigns — Samuel  Lackey,  Asa  Dan- 
forth,  Jr.,  Nathan  Walker  and  James  Alexander  ; 
David  Holbrook,  Surgeon. 

Patrick  Campbell  was  appointed  Brigadier-Gen- 
eral for  Herkimer,  Oct  9,  1793.  In  the  same  year 
Moses  DeWitt  was  appointed  Major  ;  Asa  Dan- 
forth.  Major.  First  Company:  Hezekiah  Olcott 
Captain;  Jeremiah  Gould,  Lieutenant;  Comfort 
Tyler,  Ensign.  Second  Company  :  Asa  Danforth, 
Jr.,  Captain  ;  Orris  Curtiss,  Lieutenant  ;  James 
Clark,  Ensign. 

In  March,  1794,  the  following  appointments  were 
made  for  Onondaga  county  :  Major  John  L.  Har- 
denburgh's Battalion  :  Solomon  Buell,  Captain, 
Light  Infantry  ;  Noah  Olmsted,  Lieutenant ;  Jona- 
than Brownell,  PInsign.  Majors  DeWitt  and  Dan- 
forth's  Battalion  :  Jeremiah  Jackson,  Captain,  Light 
Infantry;  Jonathan  Russell,  Lieutenant  ;  Sier Cur- 
tis, Ensign. 

On  the  8th  of  April,  1795,  Othneil  Taylor,  Esq., 
was  appointed  Commandant  of  a  Brigade,  compris- 
ing the  counties  of  Onondaga  and  Ontario,  with 
the  rank  and  title  of  Brigadier  General.     A  troop 


*  Valuation  and  Taxation  of  the  Real  and  Personal  Estate  ot"  the  County  of  Onondaga  for  the  Year  1877. 


TOWNS. 


" 

c 

<^ 

% 

s 
"« 

^ 
'n 

^ 

« 

5 

6gi 

fi 

< 

•feri 

> 

di 

^ 

8 

perviso 
aluatio 

1 

1 

t 

i2 

t 

rr. 

s-> 

< 

Cl. 

< 

u 

c 

< 

5; 

U 

r" 

Camillus 21,100  $jo 

Cicero Z9,ooo  IJ 

Clay    19.500  lo 

De  Witt  !  ij.+oo  i6 

Elbridge 22,200  }o 

Fabius  50,000  14 

Geddes 6,J74  100 

LaFayette 22,200  18 

Lysandcr j8,ooo  24 

^Ianlius  , )o,)oo  27 

Marcellus 118,900  21 

Onondaga 4>.'oo  28 

Olisco IS.SOO  14 

Pompey. J9iOoo  18 

Salina   8,445,  60 

Skaneateles    2J,&oo  26 

Spaflford    18,500  14 

Tully "S.ftoo  14 

Van  Burcn 21,600  28 

Syracuse 7.Ioo 


$5n,ooO| 

j2,j66,70O  $2,n5,o69 

4J  5,0001 

1,688,375 

1,604,673 

590,000 

I,6o8,7)l 

1.>76,4S3 

608,400! 

2,330,665, 

1,244,328 

666,000 

2,670,250 

2,456,809 

420,0001 

1,195,750 

1,549,340 

637,400! 

3,685,050' 

1,351,306 

)9i>,fioo 

1,368,170! 

1,474,086 

912,000 

2,862,765 

3,364,281 

8lS,loo| 

3,685,825 

3,017,893 

396,900 

',39^.45° 

1,4^,4,126 

l,I50,8co 

3,472,950 

4.14S.190 

217,000' 

■44.170 

800,491 

702,0001 

1,840,200 

2,589,609 

506,760: 

1,547,802 

1,869,388 

61  J, 600 

2,89<J,335 

2,263,511 

250,0001 
2lS,40ol 

687,150 

9.550,417 

570,657 

805,557 

6o4,8oc| 

2,  328,460 

2,231,048 

7,}oo,ooo 

27,584,130 

26,929,000 

$295,050' 

201,710 
100,00c 
108,145 
360,760 

'30,450 

306,800 

179,930! 
547,525 

801,730 
245,600 
388,050 
118,650 
128,350 

121, 5CO 

842,600 
140,2501 
115,055 
285,690 

3,647,390 


$2,630,119 

?s.iss  51 

$4.35701 

$2,098  53 

$11,71085 

.00459968 

1,806,383 

3,60934 

2,9.}!  41 

1,020  62 

7.612  J7 

.0040528 

1,276,453 

4,548  72 

3,771  12 

1,501  SO 

10,821  34 

.006552968 

1,352,473 

4,700  72 

3,897  05 

2,665  40 

11,165  '7 

.00461911 

2,817,569 

5,530  ic 

4.667  54 

3,284  35' 

13.581  99 

.00448101 

',679,790 

3,355  sSl 

2,781  71 

1,25678 

7.375  07 

.0055618 

2,658,106 

5,311  48, 

4,405  37 

7,3"  16 

17,02601 

.00426519 

1,654,016 

3,305061 

2,740  02 

1,522  10! 

7,667  28 

.0049517 

3,911,806 

7,Sl5  IS' 

6,480  21 

3,186  10' 

17,481  s6 

.0051261 

3,819,623 

7,637  40 

5,327  50 

15.85404 

29,81394 

.00^/14665 

1,709,726 

3,416  40! 

2,852  30 

1,16991 

7,567  " 

.00452S9 

4.633,240 

9,258,12 

7.675  33 

2,82;  64' 

'9,75909 

.00511755 

919,141 

1,856  58: 

1,51164 

90145 

4,26067 

.00485S 

1.717,959 

5,43095 

4,501  53 

2,40648 

■1,339  94 

.006268 

1,990,888 

3,</7S  06 

3,198  07 

10,565  13 

17,642  26 

.00997" 3 

3,160,111 

6,206  58i 

5,145  51 

4,044  10 

15,39630 

.0054561 

'.095.677 

2,188  171 

1,81507 

595  4S 

4,59972 

.0055592 

911,711 

1,841  76' 

1,52689 

1.233  35 

4,5O2O0 

.00585 

1,516,738 

5,028  82' 

4,15918 

1,172  09 

10,47009 

.CO40051 

30,576,390 

61,09-68 

50,551  13 

118,503  02 

250,0529s 

.0075661 

Total 


,'  18,088,7601  56,717,685  66,727,685  89,o(/i, 235  75,795,920   151,44816   115.55870   184,04973  461,0566.) 


tk 


PENITENTIARy.  SrMcusf.OnoNDAG*  Co  H  Y 


Ononoaoa  County    Poor  Hou^l. 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


8i 


of  horse  was  organized  in  the  said  Brigade  in 
1795,  and  Walter  D.  Nicholls,  appointed  Captain. 

In  1796  the  Governor  organized  several  new  regi- 
ments in  the  Counties  of  Ontario  and  Onondaga. 
The  battalion  hitherto  commanded  by  Major  Dan- 
forth  was  made  a  regiment,  comprising  the  town- 
ships of  Hannibal,  Lysander,  Cicero,  Manlius,  Pom- 
pey,  Fabius,  Solon,  Cincinnatus,  Tully,  Virgil,  Ca- 
millus,  Sempronius,  Locke,  Dryden,  and  the  Onon- 
daga Reservation.  Asa  Danforth,  Lieutenant- 
Colonel,  Commandant ;  Hezekiah  Olcott,  first  Ma- 
jor ;  Josiah  Buck,  second  Major ;  Joshua  Wickoff, 
first  Lieutenant  ;  Thaddeus  M.  Wood,  second 
Lieutenant  ;  and  Colman  Keeler,  Cornet  in  Cap- 
tain Nicholl's  troop  of  horse,  General  Taylor's 
brigade,  appointed  March,  1797. 

The  following  oflScers  were  appointed  in  Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel Danforth's  regiment,  viz :  Hezekiah 
Olcott,  first  Major  ;  Asa  Danforth,  Jr.,  second 
Major  ;  John  Ellis,  Adjutant ;  Elijah  Rust,  Pay- 
master ;  Jabez  Hull,  Quartermaster  ;  William  Need- 
ham,  Surgeon  ;  Walter  Colton,  Surgeon's  Mate  ; 
Jesse  Butler,  Lieutenant  ;  Comfort  Tyler,  Captain  ; 
Nehemiah  H.  Earll,  Lieutenant  ;  Elijah  Phillips, 
Captain  ;  Caleb  Pratt,  Lieutenant  ;  John  Lamb 
Captain  ;  William  Cook,  Lieutenant  ;  Samuel  Je- 
rome, Captain,  David  Williams,  Captain  ;  Robert 
Earll,  Captain,  etc.,  etc. 

The  population  of  the  county  in  1800,  7,698  ; 
1810,  25,987;  1820,  41.497;  1830,  58.973;  1840, 
67,911  ;  1855,86,575  ;  1865,92,972;  1870,104,183; 
1875,  112,186. 

(For  full  tables  of  population  and  other  statistics, 
see  statistical  department  of  this  work.) 


CHAPTER   XIX. 

County  Poor  House  and  Insane  Asylum — 
County  Penitentiary — State  Asylum  for 
Idiots. 

THE  Onondaga  County  Poor  House  and  Asy- 
lum are  situated  upon  Onondaga  Hill  about 
two  miles  distant  from  the  city  of  Syracuse.  The 
site  contains  36^  acres  of  land.  It  contained 
originally  about  145  acres,  being  part  of  lot  No.  87 
in  the  town  of  Onondaga,  and  purchased  by  the 
county  of  Josiah  Bronson  in  the  year  1826. 

The  following  is  from  the  minutes  of  the  Board 
of  Supervisors  at  a  meeting  held  November  24, 
1826: 

"  The  Board  of  Supervisors  of  the  County  of 
Onondaga  having  taken  into  consideration  the  pro- 
priety of  erecting  a  County  Poor  House,  appointed 


a  select  committee  consisting  of  the  following  gen- 
tlemen :  George  Pettit,  Hezekiah  Strong  and 
Charles  H.  Toll."  The  committee  embodied  in 
their  report  the  following  charges  for  the  county 
poor  during  the  years  from  1823  to  1826  inclusive  : 

Aggregate  charges  for  the  yeari823 $2,459  ^^ 

The  like  for  the  year  1824 2,560  98 

The  like  for  the  year  1825 3,973  66 

The  like  for  the  year  1826 5,767  47 

Increase  of  charges  from  1823  to  1824,  $10,114  > 
from  1824  to  1825,  $,1412.68;  from  1825  to  1826, 
$1,793.83  ;  total  increase  in  three  years,  $3,307.65. 

This  showed  the  disadvantage  of  not  having  suit- 
able provisions  for  the  poor.  The  committee  in 
view  of  all  the  circumstances  recommended  that 
"  the  Board  do  avail  themselves  of  the  pro- 
visions of  the  act  entitled  'An  act  to  provide  for  the 
estabhshment  of  County  Poor  Houses,  passed  No- 
vember 27,  1824."  The  following  resolutions  were 
adopted : 

''Resolved,  That  the  sum  of  two  thousand  dol- 
lars be  forthwith  raised  in  the  county  of  Onondaga 
towards  purchasing  a  site  and  erecting  a  county 
Poor  House." 

"Resolved,  That  the  members  of  this  Board  be 
a  committee  to  examine,  investigate  and  enquire  as 
to  the  best  location  in  said  county  for  the  said  Poor 
House,  and  report  their  opinions  and  views  on  the 
subject  to  a  future  extra  meeting  of  the  Board." 

At  the  annual  meeting  of  the  Board  held  at  the 
house  of  Z.  Rust,  on  the  28th  day  of  November, 
1826,  it  was 

"Resolved,  That  it  be  and  is  hereby  determined 
that  it  will  be  beneficial  to  the  said  county  to  erect 
a  county  Poor  House." 

"  Resolved,  That  a  copy  of  the  above  resolution 
be  signed  by  the  President  and  Clerk  of  this  Board, 
and  be  forthwith  filed  with  the  Clerk  of  the  said 
county." 

Elisha  Litchfield,  President. 

James  Webb,  Clerk. 

At  the  next  meeting  of  this  Board,^held  at  the 
house  of  Z.  and  G.  Rust,  in.  the  town  of  Onondaga, 
on  the  second  Tuesday  in  January,  1827,  present 
all  the  members  except  Charles  Jackson,  of  La- 
Fayette,  propositions  were  received  of  farms  for  sale 
to  the  Board  of  Supervisors  for  county  Poor  House 
purposes,  in  the  towns  of  Manlius,  Pompey,  and 
many  other  localities  in  the  county.  The  Board 
adopted  the  following  resolution  : 

"  Resolved,  That  the  location  of  the  County  Poor 
House  shall  be  within  ten  miles  of  the  Court 
House." 

A  committee  was  then  appointed  consisting  of 
Russell  Chase,  Hezekiah  Strong,  Charles  H.  Toll, 
Fisher  Curtis  and  George  Pettit,  to  examine  a  farm 
offered  by  Mr.  Josiah  Bronson,  being  part  of  Lot 
87  in  the  town  of  Onondaga,  100  acres  or  more  at 


82 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK 


$20.00  per  acre,  and  report  upon  the  same  at  the 
next  adjourned  meeting. 

On  the  ninth  day  of  February,  1827,  the  Board 
met  again  at  the  house  of  Z.  and  G.  Rust.  The 
committee  reported  favorably  upon  the  farm  oiTered 
by  Josiah  Bronson,  and  the  Board  resolved  to  accept 
the  same,  "  containing  about  145  acres,  at  the  price 
of  $18.00  per  acre." 

"  Resolved,  That  the  Board  of  Supervisors  will 
pay  Josiah  Bronson  the  sum  of  $500  on  taking  a 
deed,  and  the  residue  in  two  equal  annual  install- 
ments with  interest,  amounting  to  about  S735  each 
to  be  secured  to  said  Bronson  by  mortgage,  and  the 
said  Supervisors  take  upon  themselves  to  pay  the 
State  mortgage,  amounting  to  about  S640.00,  and 
the  said  Bronson  reserves  the  wheat  now  on  the 
ground." 

Hezekiah  Strong,  Fisher  Curtis  and  George 
Pettit  were  appointed  a  building  committee,  with 
instructions  to  "  build  a  house  not  exceeding  60  feet 
in  length  and  36  feet  in  width,  two  stories  above  the 
cellar  or  basement,  all  of  stone,  and  the  expense  of 
which  shall  not  exceed  $2,500.00."  By  a  resolution 
passed  at  this  meeting,  Oliver  R.  Strong,  Daniel 
Mosely,  Truman  Adams,  Azariah  Smith  and  James 
Webb,  were  appointed  Superintendents  of  the  Poor 
House.  The  building  committee  were  instructed 
to  build  the  barn  42  by  32  feet,  and  other  out- 
buildings not  exceeding  in  the  whole  $300.00. 
Hezekiah  Strong,  Fisher  Curtis  and  George  Pettit, 
were  appointed  a  committee  to  raise  the  funds  nec- 
essary to  erect  the  buildings. 

The  Poor  House  was  completed  on  the  17th  of 
December,  1827.  Our  space  will  not  allow  us  to 
enter  into  a  detailed  account  of  all  the  changes  and 
improvements  which  have  been  made  in  the  last 
half  century  both  in  the  buildings  and  in  the 
manner  of  taking  care  of  the  poor  and  the  insane. 
This  important  interest  has  kept  pace  with  other 
improvement  in  the  county,  and  has  of  late  years 
commanded  increasing  attention  and  interest.  The 
main  building  of  the  present  Poor  House  was 
erected  in  1854.  In  i860  the  first  stone  build- 
ing for  the  Asylum  was  erected.  Extensive  im- 
provements were  made  during  the  years  from  1866 
to  1873,  under  the  administration  of  Mr.  C.  C. 
Warner,  who  had  charge  of  the  Institution  during 
the  years  referred  to,  and  to  whose  economical 
management  and  indefatigable  labors  the  people 
of  the  county  are  much  indebted.  Under  his 
administration  the  Reservoir  for  the  supply  of  the 
county  buildings  with  water  was  constructed  in 
1867,  at  a  cost  of  $4,000.  In  1868,  a  new  Asylum, 
built  of  stone,  32  by  76  feet  and  three  stories  in 
height,  was   built,   costing   about    $16,000.      The 


same  year  one  wing  of  the  Poor  House  was  enlarged 
and  a  story  added  to  it,  at  a  cost  of  about  $8,000. 
In  1871,  the  carriage  and  hay  barn,  32  by  76  feet, 
with  stone  basement,  was  built  to  supply  the  place 
of  the  one  previously  destroyed  by  fire.  This  barn 
was  erected  at  the  very  moderate  cost  of  $1,550. 
A  great  improvement  was  made  in  the  whole 
general  appearance  of  the  premises  ;  the  road  in 
front  was  elevated  and  graveled  ;  side-walks  were 
built,  and  rows  of  beautiful  shade  trees  planted. 

Mr.  Warner  being  elected  to  the  office  of  Super- 
intendent, appointed  Mr.  Knapp  his  successor  as 
keeper,  who  had  charge  of  the  Poor  House  and 
Asylum  until  April  ist,  1875,  at  which  date  the 
present  incumbent,  Mr.  Ambrose  Sadler,  assumed 
charge. 

The  Annual  Report  of  the  Superintendent,  H. 
H.  Loomis,  Esq.,  for  the  year  ending  November  9, 
1877,  shows  that  the  receipts  from  all  sources,  in- 
cluding an  appropriation  by  the  Board  of  Supervi- 
sors of  $18,000,  was  $23,072.86,  and  the  total  dis- 
bursements, $19,579  17.  The  amount  of  cash  on 
hand  was  $3,493.69,  and  the  amount  of  supplies, 
$1,725.00.  Estimated  amount  necessary  to  meet 
the  current  expenses  of  the  Poor  House  and  Asylum 
for  the  ensuing  year,  $16,000. 

The  number  of  children  now  in  the  different 
chai'itable  institutions  who  are  supported  by  the 
county  is  fifty-three.  Of  these  24  are  in  the  On- 
ondaga County  Orphan  Asylum,  15  in  the  St. 
Vincent  de  Paul  Orphan  Asylum,  and  14  in  the 
House  of  Providence. 

The  number  of  persons  in  the  Poor  House  is 
130;  90  of  whom  are  males  and  40  females.  Of 
the  117  in  the  Insane  Asylum,  47  are  males  and  40 
females.  The  number  admitted  to  the  Asylum 
during  the  year  is  49  ;  26  have  been  maintained  at 
their  own  expense  or  that  of  their  friends,  $2.00 
per  week  being  paid  for  their  board  and  care  ;  10 
have  died,  34  have  been  discharged,  and  one  has 
absconded  during  the  year. 

The  following  table  shows  the  causes  of  depend- 
ency of  all  persons  received  at  the  County  House 
during  the  year  : 

Intemperance  direct 64 

Vagrancy 127 

Indigent  and  Destitute S3 

Lunacy 42 

Sickness 3° 

Old  Age 10 

Debauchery 13 

Bastardy 7 

Blindness 4 

Lameness 6 

Idiocy 6 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK.  83 

The  products  of  the  Poor  House  farm  during  the  duced  the  Board  to  change  the  site  to  Block  116  in 

past  season  have  been  as  follows  :  what  had    previously    been    the  village  of   Salina, 

Twenty-five  tons  of  hay,  22.2  bushels  of  beets,  75  where  the  Penitentiary  now   stands.      This  block 

bushelsofonions   15  biishels  of  tomatoes  41  bushels  was  purchased  of  the  State  and  a  patent  issued 

ofcarrots,  48  bushels  of  apples,  95  bushes  of  wheat,  »u      r        •        1  u     u-    t-       n           1.       1        »-•  ■ 

950   pounds    of  butter,    2,500   pounds   of  beef,  20  **^"''"^«''  '•^'""''  ^^  "''  Excellency,  Hamilton  iMsh, 

hogs,  and  1,000  head  of  cabbages.  Governor,  on  the  4th  of  February,  1850. 

The  following   is    a    statement  of  expenses   in-  On  the  8th  of  January,  1851,  the  following  resolu- 

curred  and  the  income  realized  from  the  farm  of  tion.moved  by  Mr.  L.  Harris  Hiscock,  was  adopted: 

William  Moore  1 20  acres)  rented  in  the  spring  :  .  "  ^f^olved.  That  the  Onondaga  County  Peniten- 
tiary is  completed  within  the  necessary  meaning  of 

EXPENSES.  the  Act  of  April   10,  1850,  and   that  the  Board  of 

Rent S250  00  Supervisors  have  full  power  to  officer  andorganize 

Seed 75  00  said  Penitentiary,  under   the    loth  section  of  that 

S325  00  act,  and   that  so  much  of  the   resolutions  of  the 

INCOME.  Board  of  Supervisors  of  last  year  as  confers  any 

Potatoes,  1303  bushels.. _S52i  20  power  to  officer  and  organize  said  Penitentiary  on 

Corn,           224       "       56  00  the  Commisioners  of  the  same,  be  and  the  same  is 

Oats,'  ^50       "      11^     52  50  I     hereby  rescinded." 

Cornstalks 15  00  In  January,  1 85 1,  a  special  act  was  passed  by  the 

Oat  straw 39  00  Legislature,  the  first  section  whereof  is  in  the  fol- 

Hay,  3  tons 3000  lowing  words  : 

^^j "The  Jail  of  the  county  of  Onondaga  shall  be, 

Profits   realized....  '             ——-$394  /O  f  ^  '^^  ^""^  *'  Y'^'^l'  '"'^Tr'-/"  l^^  ^'fn^u" 

^  tiary  of  said  county,  and  said  Penitentiary  shall  be 

Onondaga  County  Penitentiary.  used  for  all  the  purposes  of  a  jail  of  said  county  ; 

and  the   Superintendent  of  said    Penitentiary,  ap- 

On  the  4th  of  December,  1849,  Messrs.  Robert  pointed  by  the  ]?oard  of  Supervisors,  shall  be  the 

Dunlop,  Cyrus  Upham  and  T.  C.  Cheeney,  a  com-  Jailor  thereof,  and  have  the  custody  and  control  of 

mittee  of  the  Board  of  Supervisors  to  whom  was  all  persons  while  confined  therein,  as  the  Sheriff 

referred  the  subject  of  the  county  jail,  reported  a  ^f^^^W  county  might  have  were  this  law  not  en^- 

plan  for  a  penitentiary,  to  be  built  upon  the  center  ^''section  7.   This  act  shall   take  efiect  immedi- 

of  the   lot   where  •  the   court    house  and   jail  then  ately." 

stood.     The  main  building  was  to  be  75  by  50  feet  !„  the  rules  and  by-laws  adopted  January  9,  185 1, 

and  four  stories  including  basement,  with  one  wing  \[  jg  provided  that  three  inspectors  shall  be  appoint- 

100  by  50  feet,  having  one  row  of  windows  and  four  gj  by  the  Board  of  Supervisors,  in   meeting  now 

tiers  of  cells.     The   whole  number  of  cells  was  to  assembled,  who  shall  have  the  supervision   of  the 

be  96.     It  was  estimated  that  the  entire  cost  would  penitentiary  and  the  entire  control  of  all  its  finan- 

be  a  little  less  than  S20,ooo.  cial  concerns  and  operations,  and  shall  purchase  and 

The  Board  of  Supervisors,  on  the  7th  of  Decem-  furnish  all  the  necessary  supplies  for  the  Peniten- 

ber,  1849,  adopted  the  report  of  the  above  commit-  tia^y,  one   of  whom  shall   hold  his  office   for  one 

tee,  and  passed  the  following  resolutions  :  year,  one  for  two  years  and  one  for  three  years  from 

"Resolved  by  the  Board,  That  a  work-house  or  j^g  first  day  of  January,  185 1.     "The  said  Peni- 

Penitentiary  be  erected  in  the  county  in  pursuance  ^^^^.       ^,^,^,1  ^^  ^,„^,^^  j,^^  ^^^^rol  and  management 

of  the  plan  submitted  to  this  Board  at  its  present  ^               ■     •     1   1                  c-         ■  .      1     f       1 

session  by  the  committee  of  which  Mr.  Dunlop  is  of  one    principal   keeper  or  Superintendent  and  a 

chairman.  Board    of  Inspectors,  subject  to  the  authority  es- 

Rfsohed,  That  Mr.    Church,  of  Lysander,   Mr.  tablishcd  by  law   and    the    rules   and   regulations 

Dunlop,  of  DeWitt,  and  T.  C.   Cheeney,  of  Syra-  adopted  by  the  Board  of  Supervisors  for  its  govern- 

cuse,  be  appointed  commissioners  to  superintend  the  ^^^^^      ^^^^^  ^^3,,  ^^  ^  physician  to  the  peniten- 

erection  of  said  building.     «     •     •     •  •   .    1         1   i-                     .■      c      1 

Resolved,     That    said    commissioners    and    the  tiary.  to  be  appointed,  and  Im  compensation  fixed 

County  Treasurer  be  empowered  to  loan  a  sum  of  by  the  Board  of  Supervisors.       •     •     « 

money  necessary  for  the  erection  of  said  building.  The  Board  then    proceeded    to   the   election    of 

not   e.xceeding     S20.000,    to    be  deposited    in  the  officers    of  the    Penitentiary,   with    the    following 

County  Treasurer's  office."     •     •     •  ^^^^^j^^  ^1^^  ^.^^^  ^^^^^  ^^  ,33„qj  . 

The  plan  of  the  committee  was  carried  out  with  Superi>,le„de>it-]ostY>h  A.  Yard, 

the  exception  of  locating  the  building  on  the  Court  ///j/rr/c^rj— Lyman  Norton,   James  V.    Kcnil.nll. 

House  grounds.     The  delay  in  moving  the  Court  Aaron  Brinkerhoff. 

House  to  its  present  location  and  other  causes  in-  P/ij'sician— James  Foran. 


84 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


The  Penitentiary  was  originally  erected,  substan-  1 
tially  the  same  as  at  present,  with  the  exception  of 
the  addition  of  one  wing  in  1864.  A  portion  of  the 
building  was  re  built  and  other  improvements  made 
subsequent  to  the  fire  which  occurred  during  the 
late  war. 

The  present  condition  of  the  Penitentiary,  after 
an  experiment  of  twenty-seven  years,  is  such  as 
fully  to  demonstrate  the  practical  success  of  the 
institution.  The  Inspectors — Messrs.  H.  K.  King, 
William  Austin  and  Timothy  Hough— in  their  an- 
nual report  to  the  Board  of  Supervisors  for  1877, 
recommend  the  erection  of  additional  buildings  for 
female  prisoners.  Hesidcs  the  great  moral  advan- 
tages which  would  obviously  result  from  this  policy, 
the  increased  facilities  for  taking  and  working  a 
large  number  of  long-term  prisoners  from  adjacent 
counties  and  from  the  State  at  large,  would  greatly 
increase  the  profits  of  the  institution  and  enlarge 
the  revenue  which  it  might  be  made  to  pay  to  the 
county.  Already,  besides  paying  all  expenses  for 
the  past  year,  and  in  a  season  of  considerable  busi- 
ness depression,  the  profits  of  the  Penitentiary  have 
reached  the  net  surplus  of  $12,190.86.  The  con- 
tractors for  the  penitentiary  labor  are  Messrs.  Fra- 
zer.  Hums  &  Jones. 

The  report  of  the  present  Superintendent,  Mr. 
J.  C.  Williams,  shows  that  the  total  income  for  the 
year  1877  was  538,620.85,  and  the  total  expendi- 
tures §25,644.99.  Paiancc  in  favor  of  the  Institu- 
tion ? 1 2,975.86.  Items  to  the  amount  of  $785  to 
be  deducted  from  the  above  balance  making  the 
net  profit  of  the  Institution  §12,190.86.  Total 
number  of  persons  in  confinement  during  the  year 
1,264. 

The  Jail  of  the  county  is  kept  in  the  Peniten-  1 
tiary  building,  and  is  simply  a  house  of  detention. 
None  are  ever  confined  in  this  department  who  are 
undergoing  sentence  on  conviction.  No  work  is 
required  of  the  jail-prisoners,  but  such  as  choose  to 
work  with  the  penitentiary-prisoners  are  permitted 
to  do  so,  subject  to  the  rules  and  regulations  of  the 
Penitentiary. 

The  New  York  State  Asylum  for  Idiots. 

The  New  York  State  Asylum  for  Idiots  was  found- 
ed in  1851.  It  was  open  for  the  admission  of  pupils 
in  October  of  that  year  in  buildings  leased  for  the 
purpose  at  Albany. 

At  the  end  of  four  years  it  was  removed  to  Syra- 
cuse. The  first  building  erected  for  its  use  was 
completed  in  1855,  where  it  now  stands.  The  cost 
of  this  was  about  §70,000,  not  including  the  land 
which  was  given  by  the  citizens  of  Syracuse. 


The  first  structure  was  meant  to  accommodate 
150  pupils.  Successive  additions  from  time  to  time 
have  now  doubled  its  original  capacity. 

The  buildings  stand  upon  a  bold  terrace  in 
a  southwesterly  direction  from  the  city.  They  are 
just  west  of  the  city  line  in  the  town  of  Geddes,  and 
about  a  mile  and  a  quarter  from  the  Syracuse  Rail- 
road Depot.  The  grounds  of  the  Asylum  include 
about  fifty-five  acres. 

The  object  and  design  of  the  Asylum  is  to  furnish 
means  of  education  or  training  to  the  idiots  of  the 
State  who  are  of  a  teachable  age  and  condition  ; 
hence  the  customary  age  of  admission  is  from 
seven  to  fourteen.  The  by-laws  of  the  Asylum 
exclude  applicants  who  are  epileptic,  insane  or 
greatly  deformed. 

The  education  and  training  to  which  the  pupils 
are  submitted  has  reference  mainly  to  developing  in 
them  a  capacity  for  some  useful  occupation  and  the 
formation  of  correct  habits. 

The  girls  are  trained  to  household  occupations 
and  the  boys  to  farm  and  garden  work  and  two  or 
three  simple  trades.  No  inconsiderable  portion  of 
the  work  in  the  asylum  and  about  the  grounds,  is 
done  by  the  pupils. 

The  Asylum  is  under  the  general  control  of  a 
Board  of  Trustees,  eight  of  whom  are  appointed  by 
the  Governor,  and  the  remaining  five  are  ex  officio 
members,  consisting  of  the  Governor,  Lieutenant 
Governor,  Secretary  of  State,  Comptroller  and 
Superintendent  of  Public  Instruction. 

Dr.  H.  B.  Wilbur  has  held  the  oflfice  of  Superin- 
tendent of  the  Asylum  from  its  foundation. 


CHAPTER  XX. 

Onondaga  in  the  War  of  the  Rebellion — 
OuTiiURST  OF  Patriotism  at  the  Beginning 
OF  THE  War — t'lRST  Enlistments  of  Volun- 
teers— Captain  John  G.  Butler's  Company — 
Pettit's  Battery. 

THE  late  civil  war,  which  had  been  threatened 
by  the  South,  was  precipitated  by  an  attack 
upon  P'ort  Sumpter,  on  Sunday,  April  14,  1861. 
On  Monday  following  Abraham  Lincoln  called  for 
75,000  volunteers  to  aid  in  suppressing  the  rebel- 
lion. Simultaneously  war  meetings  were  held  all 
over  the  Northern  States.  In  this  county  flags 
were  raised  in  almost  every  school  district.  The 
patriotic  spirit  needed  no  urging  ;  such  was  its  in- 
tensity that  violence  actually  threatened  the  few  open 
sympathizers  with  the  South,  who,  not  yet  aware  of 
the  spirit  of  their  neighbors,  dared  openly  to  express 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


8S 


sentiments  of  sympathy  with  secession.  In  a  Httle 
while  the  voices  of  all  such  were  hushed  in  the 
general  outburst  of  loyalty  and  patriotism  ;  and 
men  of  all  parties,  with  but  few  exceptions,  forgot 
their  political  differences  in  view  of  the  common 
danger  which  seemed  to  threaten  the  country.  The 
flag  of  the  Republic  had  been  ruthlessly  assailed 
and  the  very  existence  of  the  Nation  was  imperiled 
by  armed  treason  and  rebellion.  In  such  a  state  of 
things  the  appeal  made  to  the  loyal  North  for  de- 
fenders of  the  Union,  accompanied  as  it  was  by  the 
authentic  announcement  that  Maj.  Anderson's  little 
garrison  at  Charleston  had  surrendered,  and  that  a 
rebel  flag  waved  from  the  ramparts  of  Fort  Sump- 
ter,  awakened  the  most  intense  excitement  and 
called  forth  a  response  which,  for  promptness  and 
alacrity,  has  never  been  equalled  in  the  history  of 
any  nation. 

The  excitement  in  this  locality  was  much  the 
same  as  it  was  throughout  the  Northern  States 
generally,  except,  perhaps,  that  it  was  more  intense ; 
the  strong  anti-slavery  sentiment  of  a  large  portion 
of  the  people  being  kindled  into  a  flame  by  the  first 
overt  act  of  hostility  on  the  part  of  the  South.  The 
county  of  Onondaga  was  behind  no  other  portion 
of  the  Empire  State  in  the  promptness  with  which 
she  furnished  her  quota  of  men  and  sent  them  for- 
ward to  the  seat  of  war.  One  company  had  been 
formed  in  Syracuse  by  Captain  John  G.  Butler  be- 
fore the  beginning  of  the  war,  in  iS6o,  and  was  sent 
on  immediately  after  the  attack  upon  Fort  Sumpter 
and  formed  a  part  of  the  3d  New  York  regiment, 
which  participated  in  the  first  battle  fought  for  the 
defense  of  the  Union.  Immediately  upon  the  call 
for  the  75, 000  men  in  April,  186 1,  the  12th  Regiment 
was  raised  and  sent  to  the  front,  to  engage  at  once 
in  active  service.  Then  followed  the  loist,  a  regi- 
ment made  up  partially  of  Onondaga  men,  in  the 
fall  of  1861  ;  then  the  I22d  Regiment  in  the 
summer  of  1862  ;  this  was  followed  in  less  than  a 
month  by  the  149th  Regiment,  and  this  again  by 
the  185th,  in  the  summer  of  1864.  The  15th  and 
22d  Cavalry  were  respectively  raised  and  sent  from 
this  county.  Besides  these  Jenney's  and  Pettit's 
Batteries  and  a  considerable  portion  of  the  ist 
Regiment  of  Light  Artillery  were  furnished  from 
this  county  in  1861.  The  3d  New  York  Cavalry, 
mustered  into  the  service  in  August,  1861  ;  the 
loth  Cavalry,  December,  1861  ;  the  12th  Cavalry, 
November,  1862;  the  20th  Cavalry,  September, 
1863  ;  and  the  24th  Cavalry,  organized  at  Auburn 
and  mustered  in  January,  1864,  were  in  part  made 
up  by  men  from  Onondaga  county.  Also  part  of 
the  9th  New  York  Heavy  Artillery.     This  county 


and  Cortland  furnished  eight  companies  of  the 
2d  Regiment  of  Ira  Harris  Light  Cavalry,  recruited 
in  September  and  October,  1864.  In  infantry,  be- 
sides the  full  regiments,  this  county  furnished  a 
portion  of  t-he  44th  New  York,  mustered  in,  in  1861  ; 
the  75th,  1861  ;  the  86th,  i86i  ;  and  the  loist, 
1 86 1.  The  193d  Regiment  was  partly  raised  here 
in  April,  1865,  and  the  194th,  mustered  in,  the  same 
spring. 

Thus  it  will  be  seen  that,  besides  the  filling  of 
the  complete  regiments  made  up  from  this  county, 
recruiting  was  going  on  briskly  here  from  the  begin- 
ing  to  the  end  of  the  war.  Indeed,  it  began  before 
the  war  broke  out,  and  continued  so  long  as  a  man 
was  needed  to  complete  the  last  great  struggle  with 
the  Rebellion  in  front  of  Richmond  in  1865.  We 
have  no  means  of  determining  the  exact  number  of 
men  furnished  to  the  Government,  first  and  last,  by 
this  county,  but  the  aggregate  will  no  doubt  ap- 
proximate 10,000  men.  The  county  raised  about 
1,000  men  over  and  above  her  quota. 

Captain  Butler's   Company. 

The  tour  of  the  Ellsworth  Zouaves  through  the 
country  in  i860,  awakened  an  unusual  degree  of 
military  enthusiasm.  A  Zouave  company  was  im- 
mediately thereafter  formed  in  Syracuse,  of  which 
John  G.  Butler  was  Captain,  Samuel  Thompson, 
1st  Lieutenant,  and  Edwin  S.  Jenney,  2d  Lieutenant. 
The  company  was  composed  of  about  forty  young 
men  of  some  of  the  best  families  in  the  city. 

Immediately  after  the  fall  of  Fort  Sumpter,  the 
company  tendered  its  services  to  the  Government, 
and  was  at  once  recruited  by  Capt.  Butler  and  Lieut. 
Jenney  to  the  maximum  number  of  JJ,  officers 
and  men,  and  became  Company  D  of  the  3d  regi- 
ment, N.  Y.  Vols. 

Before  it  was  mustered  into  the  service  Lieut. 
Jenney  recruited  another  company  in  Oneida 
County,  of  which  he  became  captain.  This  was  or- 
ganized as  Company  I  of  the  same  regiment.  The 
only  other  Onondaga  County  man  in  this  company 
was  Mr.  Leon  H.  Ballard,  its  2d  Lieutenant. 

Captain  Butler's  company  was  organized  with 
John  G.  Butler,  Captain ;  C.  H.  Burdick,  ist  Lieu- 
tenant ;  Jay  M.  Wicks,  2d  Lieutenant ;  and  was  the 
first  company  organized  in  Central  New  York  upon 
the  breaking  out  of  the  rebellion. 

Both  Butler's  and  Jenney's  companies  proceeded 
about  the  middle  of  April,  1861,  to  the  barracks  at 
Albany,  where  the  regimental  organization  was 
completed,  thence  to  New  York,  where,  after  a  brief 
encampment  at  the  Battery,  the  regiment  was  or- 
dered to  Fortress  Monroe  and  incorporated  with 


86 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


Gen.  Butler's  army.  They  had  immediate  e.xperi- 
encc  in  active  ser\'icc,  the  famous  movement  on 
Big  Bethel,  the  first  actual  battle  of  the  war,  being 
ordered  June  9,  1861.  Gen  Butler  had  taken  com- 
mand at  Fortress  Monroe  at  the  head  of  15,000 
raw  but  gallant  soldiers.  It  had  been  decided  that 
no  offensive  movement  should  be  made  prior  to  the 
24th  of  May  I  the  day  after  the  farce  of  voting  to 
ratify  the  ordinance  of  secession  of  the  State  of 
Virginia  I— the  Government  having  apparently  re- 
solved that  no  Union  soldier  should,  on  that  day, 
tread  the  soil  of  Virginia,  save  within  the  narrow 
limits,  or  immediately  under  the  frowning  walls  of 
Fortress  Monroe.  So  Gen.  Hutler  soon  found 
ten  or  twelve  thousand  confederates  in  his  front, 
under  command  of  Gens.  Huger  and  Magruder, 
both  recently  of  the  regular  army,  with  earthworks 
and  batteries,  well  mounted  with  powerful  guns 
from  the  spoils  of  the  Norfolk  Navy  Yard. 

General  Hutler  found  his  position  so  cramped  by 
the  pro.ximity  and  audacity  of  the  rebels,  that  he 
resolved  upon  enlarging  his  circle,  and  to  that  end 
seized  and  fortified  Newport  News,  at  the  mouth  of 
the  James  River.  On  the  Qth  of  June  he  ordered 
a  reconnoissance  in  force  with  a  view  of  capturing 
the  rebel  position  nearest  to  him,  at  Little  Bethel. 
The  camp  here  was  found  deserted,  and  General 
Pierce,  in  command  of  our  force  pushed  on  to  Big 
Bethel,  seven  miles  further,  where  they  found  Ma- 
gruder strongly  posted  with  i.Soo  rebel  infantry 
behind  his  breastworks.  General  Tierce,  who  had 
never  seen  a  shot  fired  in  actual  war,  planting  his 
small  arms  in  an  open  field  opened  an  ineffectual 
fire,  his  balls  burying  themselves  harmlessly  in  the 
rebel  earthworks.  This  action  was  kept  up  about 
four  hours — necessarily  with  considerable  loss  on 
our  side  and  little  or  none  on  that  of  the  enemy. 
Finally,  a  more  determined  assault  was  made  by  a 
part  of  our  infantry  led  by  Major  Theodore  Win- 
throp.  Aid  to  General  Butler,  who  was  shot  dead 
while  standing  on  a  log,  cheering  his  men  to  the 
charge. 

Butler's  and  Jenncy's  companies,  composing  the 
second  division  of  the  regiment,  and  being  the 
fourth  and  ninth  in  rank,  volunteered  and  were  sent 
forward  as  part  of  the  storming  party  in  this  first 
engagement  of  the  war,  and  lost  in  proportion  to 
any  other  troops  engaged  in  the  battle.  They  are 
mentioned  in  the  reports  for  gallant  conduct.  The 
enemy's  position  was  protected  in  front  by  a  stream 
of  water  which  made  a  successful  assault  impossible. 
Our  total  losses  in  the  advance  and  attack  were 
about  100  men,  while  the  rebels  report  their  loss  at 
one  killed  and  seven  wounded. 


Succeeding  the  battle  of  Big  Bethel  the  compa- 
nies were  kept  at  Fortress  Monroe  till  after  the 
battle  of  Bull  Run,  when  the  regiment  was  ordered 
to  the  Army  of  the  Potomac,  but  was,  however, 
stopped  at  lialtimore  and  assigned  to  garrison  duty 
at  Fort  Mc Henry. 

In  October,  1861,  Captain  Jcnney,  being  author- 
ized to  recruit  a  battery  of  light  artillery,  left  the 
regiment. 

On  the  4th  of  February,  1863,  Captain  Butler 
was  promoted  to  the  Lieutenant-Colonelcy  of  the 
147th  New  York  Volunteers,  organized  at  Oswego 
in  September,  1862,  of  which  Andrew  S.Warner 
was  Colonel.  On  the  24th  of  February,  1863, 
Lieutenant-Colonel  Butler  was  promoted  to  the 
rank  of  Colonel  of  the  regiment,  which  he  com- 
manded in  the  field  with  distinction  till  failing 
health  compelled  him  to  leave  the  army.  He  was 
discharged  on  surgeon's  certificate  of  disability, 
November  5,  1863. 

The  Adjutant-General's  report  says  of  the  3d 
regiment  :  "  This  regiment  was  organized  at  Al- 
bany, X.  v.,  for  two  years.  It  was  mustered  into 
the  service  of  the  United  States  May  14,  1S61. 
The  original  members  were  mustered  out  on  the 
expiration  of  their  term  of  service.  May  21,  1863. 
The  regiment  was  reorganized  in  May,  1863,  for 
three  years,  and  finally  mustered  out  in  accordance 
with  orders  from  the  War  Department,  August  18, 
1865." 

They  were  engaged  in  the  following  battles  :  Big 
Bethel,   Fokt   Wagnek,   Bermuda    Hunokeds, 

PETEKSriURG,  F"OKT  GiLMER,  ChAPIn's  FaRM,  FoRT 
F'lSHEK,  WiLMINGTO.N,  N.    C. 

Jay  M.  Wicks,  who  went  out  as  2d  Lieutenant, 
was  promoted  to  ist  Lieutenant  February  26,  1862, 
and  to  Captain,  October  4,  1S62.  He  died,  of  wounds 
received  in  action,  October  27,  1864. 

Charles  H.  Burdick,  ist  Lieutenant  of  same  com- 
pany, resigned  February  4,  1862. 

Leon  H.  Ballard,  2d  Lieutenant  in  Capt.  Jcnney 's 
company,  resigned  September  25,  1861. 

B.vTTEKV  B,  First  Regiment  New  York  Light 
Artillery,  known  as  I'ettit's  Battery,  was  raised 
at  Baldwinsville  and  composed  chiefly  of  Onondaga 
county  men.  It  was  mustered  into  the  State  ser- 
vice at  Baldwinsville,  August  24,  1861,  and  into  the 
service  of  the  United  States  at  Elmira,  August  31, 
1861. 

On  its  arrival  in  Washington  it  was  the  first  bat- 
tery to  be  fully  mounted,  and  remained  in  camp  in 
the  vicinity  of  Washington  till  the  spring  of  1862. 
The  record  of  its  engagements  during  the  war  is  as 
follows : 


H 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


87 


Warrenton  Jimction,  Va.,  March  28,  1862. 
Fair  Oaks,  F«.,  June  1-28,  1862. 
Peach  Orchard,  Va.,  June  29,  A.  M.,  1862. 
Savage  Station,  Va.,  June  29,  P.  M.,  1862. 

White  Oak  Swamp,  frt.,  June  30,  1862. 
Malvern  Hill,  f'^r.,  July  r,  1S62. 
Centcrvilley  frt.,  September  i,  1862. 
Antietam,  Md.,  September  15-17,  1862. 
Charlestoivn,  Va.,  October  19,  1862. 
Snicker's  Gap,  Va.,  November  3,  1862. 
Falmouth,  Va.,  November  17,  1862. 
Fredericksburg,  Va.,  December  12-17,  1862. 
Chanccllorsville,  Va.,  May  1-3,  1863. 
Utiitcd  States  Ford,  f^^.,  May  6,  1863. 
Gettysburg,  Pa.,  July  2-3,  1863. 
Mine  Run,  Va.,  November  30,  1863. 
Spottsylvania,  Va.,  May   12,  1864. 
North  Anna,  J  a..  May  23,  1S64. 
Tolopotomoy,   J^a.,  May  29,  1864. 
Bethcsda  Church,   frt.,  June  2-3,  1864. 
Petersburg,  Va.,  June  16-20,  1864. 
Hatcher's  Run,  Va.,  October  27,  1864. 

On  the  expiration  of  its  term  of  service  the 
original  number,  except  the  veterans,  were  mustered 
out,  and  the  organization  composed  of  veterans  and 
recruits  retained  in  the  service.  The  regiment  was 
finally  mustered  out  by  batteries  in  accordance  with 
an  order  from  the  War  Department,  Battery  B  be- 
ing mustered  out  June  18,  1865. 

The  following  were  the  officers  of  Pettit's  Battery, 
with  the  record  of  promotions,  &c. : 

Captain,  Rufus  D.  Pettit,  rank  from  August  29, 
1861,  resigned  May  30,  1863. 

Captain,  J.  M.  Rority,  temporarily  assigned  to 
command  July  2,  1863,  killed  at  Gettysburg. 

First-Lieutenant,  Albert  S.  Sheldon,  rank  from 
August  29,  1 861,  promoted  to  Captain,  July  27, 
1863,  wounded  at  Gettysburg,  discharged  December 
16,  1S64. 

First-Lieutenant,  Thomas  O'Shea,  not  commis- 
sioned, resigned  October  17,  1862. 

Second-Lieutenant,  Walter  D.  Pettit,  rank  from 
August  29,  1 86 1,  promoted  to  First-Lieutenant 
February  27,  1862,  discharged  April  29,  1863. 

Second-Lieutenant,  Robert  E.  Rogers,  rank  from 
November  12,  1861,  promoted  to  First-Lieutenant 
March  6,  1863,  promoted  to  Captain,  December  30, 
1S64,  mustered  out  with  battery  June  18,  1865. 

Second-Lieutenant,  Isaac  B.  Hall,  rank  from 
April  I,  1862  ;  assigned  to  Battery  A,  December 
24,  1862  ;  promoted  to  First-Lieutenant,  February 
23,  1864  !  mustered  out  on  expiration  of  term  of 
service,  October  31,  1864. 

Second-Lieutenant,  Edward  H.  Underbill,  rank 
from  January  4,  1862  ;  assigned  to  Battery  B,  June 
9,  1863  ;  promoted  to  First-Lieutenant,  August  26, 
1863  ;  assigned  to  Battery  A,  September  18,  1863  ; 


promoted  to  Captain,  December  9,  1864  ;  mustered 
out  with  Battery,  June  23,  1865. 

Second-Lieutenant,  John  Gibson,  rank  from  Oc- 
tober 14,  1863  ;  assigned  from  Battery  H,  Decem- 
ber 15,  1863  ;  promoted  to  First-Lieutenant,  Sep- 
tember 27,  1S64  ;  mustered  out  on  expiration  of 
term  of  service,  November  16,  1S64. 

First-Sergeant,  Joseph  B.  Slauson,  promoted  to 
Second-Lieutenant,  September  10,  1862  ;  First- 
Lieutenant,  April  29,  1863  ;  wounded  at  Chancel- 
lorsville  ;  mustered  out  on  the  expiration  of  term  of 
service,  September  27.  1864. 

Quartermaster,  Joel  B.  Frisbie,  returned  to  ranks, 
December  3,  1S61  ;  discharged,  August    12,  1862. 

Sergeant,  DeWitt  M.  Ferine,  promoted  to  Second 
Lieutenant,  October  20,  1S64;  First-Lieutenant, 
February  28,  1865  ;  wounded  at  Gettysburg  ;  mus- 
tered out  with  Battery,  June  17,  1865. 

Sergeants— John  M.  Stephens,  died,  date  un- 
known ;  Harvey  Cox,  wounded  at  Chanccllorsville, 
fate  unknown  ;  Rufus  B.  Freeman,  died  July  25, 
1862  ;  Guy  W.  Plumley,  died  March  2,  1862  ; 
Charles  H.  Gates,  wounded  at  Chanccllorsville ; 
transferred  to  I.  C.  ;  Thomas  Coyne,  wounded  at 
Chancellorsville  ;  taken  prisoner  and  paroled ; 
Robert  Maitland,  returned  to  ranks  January  31, 
1863. 

Corporals— James  A.  Skinner,  promoted  to 
Quartermaster-Sergeant  April  26,  1S62  ;  declined 
commission  as  Second-Lieutenant  August  12,  1S64, 
with  rank  from  May  i,  1864;  discharged  at  the 
expiration  of  service. 

Anthony  Huyck,  promoted  to  Sergeant,  Decem- 
ber 14,  1862  ;  First-Sergeant,  December  24,  1862  ; 
discharged  at  the  expiration  of  service. 

Abram  S.  Attix,*  promoted  to  Sergeant,  Septem- 
ber I,  1862. 

Andrew  J.  Hooker,  hurt  by  carriage  at  Gettys- 
burg, returned  to  ranks  November  i,  1S63. 

Edward  P.  Lockwood,*  returned  to  ranks  October 
19,  1862. 

Abiram  W.  Mathews,  died  at  home. 

Stephen  Barber,  died  May  4,  1862. 

George  L.  Elliot,  returned  to  ranks  May  i, 
1862. 

Robert  R.  Ramsey.* 

James  Galligher. 

Michael  Galligher,*  returned  to  ranks. 

John  McSorley,*  returned  to  ranks  January  i, 
1863. 

Allen  F.  Mallory,*  bugler,  returned  to  ranks 
January  i,  1863  :  wounded  at  Gettysburg.    , 

Thomas  McLaughlin,*  bugler. 


*  Veterans  retained  in  the  service. 


88 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


Hendrick  S.  Wheeler,*  artificer. 

Alonzo  C.  Ketchum,*  artificer,  returned  to  ranks. 

Sylvester  P.  Slade,*  wagoner.t 


CHAI'TKR  XXI. 

"  Jenney's  Battery,"  —  Its  Organization  with 
THE  Third  New  York  Artillery — Sketch  of 
its  History. 

THE  Tenth  New  York  Independent  Battery, 
popularly  known  as  "  Jenney's  Battery,"  was 
raised  and  organized  in  Syracuse  by  Capt.  Edwin 
S.  Jenney  in  the  fall  of  iS6i.  Captain  Jenncy  had 
entered  the  service  at  the  very  outbreak  of  the  war  ; 
he  and  Captain  John  G.  Butler  being  the  first  to 
organize  companies  in  Central  New  York  immedi- 
ately after  the  fall  of  Fort  Sumpter.  As  Captain 
of  Company  I,  3d  Regiment,  New  York  Volunteers, 
he  had  seen  enough  of  war  to  induce  a  decided 
preference  for  the  light  artillery  branch  of  the  ser- 
vice ;  and  becoming  weary  of  the  inactivity  of  gar- 
rison duty  at  Fort  McHenry,  to  which  his  regi- 
ment had  been  assigned  after  the  battle  of  Big 
Bethel,  he  obtained  leave  of  absence,  returned  to 
New  York  and  received  authority  from  the  Gov- 
ernor to  raise  a  battery  of  light  artillery.  He  soon 
succeeded  in  raising  the  minimum  number,  and  his 
command  was  mustered  into  the  United  States  ser- 
vice as  "The  lOth  New  York  Independent  Bat- 
tery." 

In  Hall's  "  Cayuga  in  the  Field  "  this  organiza- 
tion is  spoken  of  as  follows  : 

"  Of  this  number  a  full  battery  of  142  men  was 
raised  through  the  patriotic  and  vigorous  efforts  of 
Captain  Edwin  S.  Jenncy,  a  young  lawyer  in 
Syracuse,  whose  private  purse  furnished  hundreds 
of  dollars  for  the  work.  The  Captain  rented  the 
upper  stories  of  a  large  building  on  Salina  street. 
He  made  Syracuse  blaze  with  his  banners  and 
placards,  and  quickly  gatheretl  a  band  of  the  very 
best  intelligence  and  blood.  It  was  his  intention  to 
go  into  the  army  of  the  West,  into  which  he  had 
been  led  by  friends  to  suppose  he  could  be  sent. 
He  found,  however,  that  he  was  required  for  the 
army  of  the  Potomac,  where,  at  that  time,  a  rule 
existed  that  light  artillery  should  be  united  into 
battalions,  consisting  of  one  regular  and  three 
volunteer  batteries,  commanded  by  the  Captain  of 
the  regular  battery.  This  entailed  a  sacrifice  of 
independence  and  gave  no  chance  of  promotion. 
He  consented,  therefore,  to  an  order  of  the  State 
authorities  to  attach  him  to  the  3d  New  York 
Artillery,  as  Battery '  F.'  As  such  he  was  mustered 
in,  December  iSlh,  1861,  by  Lieutenant  J.  R. 
Brinklc,  5th  United  States  Artillery,  at  Syracuse. 

•  Vcterini  retained  in  the  lervicc. 

f  For  rotter  of  Enliited  Men  See  Appendix. 


Shortly  after,  he  repaired  to  New  York  and  lay  at 
Palace  Garden  Barracks  some  weeks,  previous  to 
going  to  the  front.  The  Lieutenants  of  the  com- 
pany were  Alex.  H.  Davis,  Gustavus  F.  Merriam, 
Paul  Birchmeyer  and  James  D.  Outwater." 

While  at  Palace  Garden  Barracks  the  battery 
was  uniformed  and  furnished  with  rifles  and  the 
men  were  thoroughly  drilled  in  infantry  tactics,  in 
order  that,  if  necessary,  they  could  perform  such 
service  until  the  battery  should  be  equipped. 

On  the  2 1  St  of  February,  1862,  the  Battery  pro- 
ceeded to  Washington,  D.  C,  and  the  next  day, 
with  the  rest  of  the  regiment,  which  it  had  now 
joined,  marched  across  the  Potomac  to  Fort  Cor- 
coran on  Arlington  Heights. 

Here  the  battery  remained  with  the  regiment 
encamped,  doing  garrison  duty  and  constantly 
drilling  in  infantry  and  heavy  artillery  tactics, 
until  March  25th,  1862,  when  orders  came  to  march 
to  join  Burnside's  expeditionary  army.  They  ar- 
rived at  Annapolis  the  next  day,  and,  on  the  28th, 
embarked  on  the  steamer  Fulton  for  Hatteras  In- 
let, where  they  arrived,  joining  Burnside's  fleet  on 
the  30th,  and  landing  at  Newbern,  North  Carolina, 
on  the  2d  of  April,  1862.  For  some  time  Captain 
Jenney  and  Captain  Morrison,  of  Battery  B,  were 
engaged  in  equipping  and  drilling  their  respective 
Batteries. 

"  By  the  ist  of  July,  these  Batteries  had  re- 
ceived their  full  armament.  Both  had  a  mi.xed  lot 
of  guns  ;  B  had  two  twenty-four  pound  howitzers, 
(brass*,  two  twelve  pound  howitzers,  (brass,)  and 
two  twelve  pound  Wiards,  (  cannon  and  rifled  )  ;  F 
had  two  iron  six  pounders,  two  iron  twelve  pound- 
ers, and  two  howitzers.  Horses  were  obtained 
principally  from  the  baggage  wagons  of  Massa- 
chusetts regiments.  The  old  Bay  State  sent  her 
regiments  into  the  field  with  everything  complete. 
A  large  number  of  her  troops  were  in  Burnside's 
army  and  their  splendid  teams  were  appropriated, 
as  the  emergency  requiring  them  arose,  to  the  use 
of  the  3d  artillery.  By  the  first  of  November, 
however.  Battery  F  was  fully  equipped  with  a 
complete  armament  of  six  Wiard  rifled  twelve 
pounder  guns. 

"  The  summer  and  fall  of  1862  were  spent  in  drill- 
ing the  several  companies  in  their  respective  roles 
as  light  and  heavy  artillery,  in  the  perfection  of  the 
line  of  fortifications  and  in  the  ordinary  routine  of 
camp  duties.  *  •  •  •  •         * 

"  With  only  an  occasional  skirmish  with  the 
enemy  until  November  of  that  year."* 

From  that  time  during  most  of  its  service  the 
battery  was  kept  actively  at  work.  From  the  3d  to 
the  loth  of  that  month  it  was  with  the  army  in  its 
march  upon  Tarboro.  While  no  battle  occurred 
during  this  march,  the  discipline  and  fortitude  of 

*  Ciyuga  in  the  Field. 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


89 


the  command  were  constantly  tried  by  the  severity 
of  the  march,  frequent  skirmishes  and  the  constant 
alertness  necessary  in  the  near  presence  of  the 
enemy.  If  nothing  else  was  accomplished  by  this 
expedition,  it  was  of  great  educational  advantage  to 
the  troops,  for  they  were  veterans  ever  after. 

After  this,  until  December  nth,  the  command 
had  a  resting  spell.  On  that  day,  leaving  only  a 
small  garrison  at  Newbern,  the  army  began  the 
march  on  Goldsboro.  This  expedition  was  planned 
in  aid  of  the  Army  of  the  Potomac.  General  Hal- 
leck  ordered  that  simultaneously  with  Burnside's 
crossing  the  Rappahannock,  all  the  available  forces 
at  Newbern,  should  advance  to  Goldsboro,  N.  C., 
destroy  the  railroads  and  bridges,  and  so  far  as  pos- 
sible, create  a  diversion  in  favor  of  General  Burn- 
side.  If  it  was  supposed  that  this  expedition 
would  fight  in  three  successive  days  three  battles 
and  two  of  them  among  the  severest  of  the  war, 
considering  the  number  of  men  engaged,  no  mistake 
was  made,  for  the  battles  of  Kinston,  Whitehall 
and  Goldsboro  are  its  history.  It  is  not  within  the 
scope  of  our  history  to  give  the  details  of  this 
march  nor  of  these  battles.  The  first  two  were 
the  severe  ones,  and  in  both  of  them  Jenney's 
Battery  distinguished  itself  At  Kinston  the  point 
of  our  attack  was  the  bridge  crossing  the  river,  and 
owing  to  the  long  range  of  its  guns,  this  battery 
was  at  first  placed  upon  a  hill  in  the  rear  of  our 
advancing  troops,  to  fire  over  them  and  thus  aid 
their  advance.  The  enemy  held  their  ground, 
however,  with  terrible  stubbornness ;  an  almost 
hand  to  hand  fight  raged  for  hours  ;  when 
it  was  discovered  that  the  enemy  was  being 
reenforced  by  troops  coming  to  their  left  flank, 
Jenney's  Battery  with  two  infantry  regiments  was 
ordered  to  hastily  proceed  to  our  right  and  cut  off 
such  reenforcements  if  possible.  Passing  through 
thick  woods  they  came  into  the  open  country  too 
late  to  effect  their  object,  but  with  the  bridge  and 
enemy  full  in  view.  The  intermediate  country  had 
been  drained  by  large  trenches  which  seemed  im- 
passable to  a  battery,  but  after  a  moments  confer- 
ence between  Gen.  Hickman,  who  commanded  the 
flanking  brigade,  and  Capt.  Jenney,  the  order  to 
advance  was  given,  and  the  Brigade  in  two  parallel 
columns  (the  infantry  in  one  and  the  battery  in  the 
other)  moved  at  double  quick  and  gallop  through 
the  trenches  and  across  the  field.  No  halt  was 
made  until  the  battery  was  within  cannister  range 
of  the  enemy.  The  report  of  the  Wiard  guns  was 
well  known  to  our  army.  The  position  of  the  field 
was  such  that  this  movement  upon  the  flank  was 
not  known  to  our  troops  until  the  Wiard  guns  rang 
12* 


out  in  quick  succession,  and  a  new  musketry  fire  in 
the  same  locality  told  them  the  story.  There  was 
a  momentary  lull ;  then  a  cheer  rang  along  the 
line,  an  advancing  shout,  and  the  enemy's  lines 
wavered  and  in  a  moment  gave  way  and  every  man 
sought  his  own  safety  in  flight ;  while  the  battery 
turned  its  fire  upon  the  bridge,  now  crowded  by  the 
retreating  enemy,  with  fearful  effect.  Several  hun- 
dred of  the  enemy  sheltered  themselves  below  the 
river  bank  and  were  captured.  The  enemy  in  re- 
treating, for  the  purpose  of  delaying  our  pursuit, 
fired  the  bridge  with  turpentine  thus  torturing  to 
death  many  of  their  unfortunate  wounded.  The 
work  of  removing  their  charred  remains  occasioned 
more  delay  than  extinguishing  the  flames,  which  was 
quickly  done  with  the  artillery  buckets. 

One  section  of  the  Battery  under  command  of 
Lieutenant  Frederick  Dennis,  with  the  3d  New 
York  Cavalry,  followed  and  harassed  the  retreating 
enemy  until  night,  but  the  Battery  had  been  too 
badly  crippled  by  the  loss  of  men  and  horses  to 
hastily  make  up  more  than  a  section  for  pursuit. 
At  5  o'clock  the  next  morning,  however,  having 
brought  in  reserve  horses  and  disposed  the  men  with 
reference  to  the  vacant  places.  Battery  F  marched 
out  in  the  placeof  honor  with  the  advanced  brigade. 

Conrad  Ring,  the  bugler,  bore  the  colors,  in  place 
of  poor  Dunlap  whose  horse  had  been  shot  under 
him  and  who  had  lost  a  leg  the  day  before,  while 
others  filled  the  places  of  the  poor  fellows  left  behind 
as  well  as  their  own  ;  yet  the  Battery  marched  out 
elated  with  the  honors  of  yesterday's  battle,  well 
prepared  for  the  arduous  duty  still  before  it. 

That  night  the  army  encamped  within  three 
miles  of  Whitehall,  which  it  was  necessary  to  pass 
by  the  route  taken,  to  reach  Goldsboro.  Early  the 
following  morning  our  cavalry  engaged  the  enemy 
opposite  this  village.  The  main  body  of  our  army 
speedily  came  up.  The  artillery  was  sent  to  the 
front,  the  cavalry  and  infantry  being  used  mainly  as 
a  support  and  the  battle  of  "  Whitehall  "  was  fought. 

"  Gloomy  woods  clothed  both  banks  of  the  river, 
except  on  the  south  side,  where  a  large  clearing  had 
been  made  among  the  trees,  forming  a  sort  of 
amphitheatre.  The  ground  sloped  steeply  to  the 
river.  The  enemy  was  on  the  north  bank  in  the 
woods,  6,000  strong,  under  General  Robertson,  with 
artiflery  in  intrenchments.  Reaching  the  open 
ground,  General  Foster  halted  the  infantry  regi- 
ments to  allow  the  passage  of  the  artillery,  which, 
receiving  orders  to  come  to  the  front  with  all  speed, 
spared  neither  lash  nor  spur,  and  came  thundering 
into  the  open  ground  on  a  run,  battery  after  battery. 
As  fast  as  they  reported,  those  having  light  guns, 
viz  :  "  F,"  "  H  "  and  "  K,"  and  Belger's,  were  ranged 
along  the  line  of  battle,  near  the  base  of  the  slope, 


«ll 


90 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK, 


the  heavy  guns,  those  of  "  E  "  and  "  I  "  near  the 
top.  Battery  B  was  not  in  the  fight.  As  fast  as 
they  came  into  position,  our  guns  opened  fire  on 
the  woods,  gunboat  and  the  rebel  battery,  and  for 
two  hours  and  over  poured  shot,  shell  and  cannistcr 
into  them  steadily.  The  cannonading  was  furious 
beyond  experience.  It  seemed  to  be  one  continu- 
ous peal  of  deafening  thunder.  The  ground  trem- 
bled under  the  sound.* 

The  enemy  had  ten  or  more  heavy  guns  in  their 
intrcnchments.  Upon  our  side  were  full  thirty  can- 
non but  they  were  all  field  pieces.  The  exposed 
hillside  and  close  range  rendered  the  battle  at 
once  an  artillery  duel  which  continued  until 
the  enemy's  guns  were  almost  wholly  disabled, 
when  our  infantry  advanced  to  the  river  bank  and 
quickly  dislodged  the  enemy.  During  this  engage- 
ment one  of  the  guns  of  "Jenney's  Battery,"  too 
severely  tried  by  the  rapid  firing,  burst  into  four 
pieces. 

Previous  to  this  march  Lieutenant  Davis  had 
been  promoted  to  Adjutant  of  the  regiment.  His 
duty  in  that  position  at  no  time  of  the  day  called 
him  to  the  front  ;  yet  he  advanced  into  the  fight 
with  his  old  battery  and  served  with  it  with  dis- 
tinguished gallantry  during  the  whole  action. 

Lieutenant  Dennis,  who  had  succeeded  Lieuten- 
ant Davis,  during  the  hottest  of  the  fight  was  sent 
with  his  section  to  the  most  exposed  position  in  the 
field  to  silence  one  of  the  enemy's  guns  which 
seemed  particularly  damaging  to  us,  and  received 
special  mention  for  the  courage  and  skill  with  which 
he  accomplished  that  result. 

After  this  battle  the  army  again  marched  on  and 
the  next  day,  reaching  the  goal  of  the  expedition, 
fought  the  battle  of  Goldsboro.  Here,  for  the  first 
time,  Battery  F  was  held  in  the  reserve,  short  of 
men,  with  many  draught  horses  supplying  the 
places  of  drilled  ones  left  on  the  field,  and  with 
ammunition  exhausted,  excepting  a  few  rounds  of 
cannister.  The  battery  could  no  longer  be  of 
service  and,  the  fighting  over,  the  men  gladly  left 
the  field  and  turned  again  toward  the  base  of 
supplies. 

"  When  the  artillery  came  off  the  field  to  take 
its  place  in  the  column,  the  troops  greeted  it  with 
cheers — regiment  after  regiment  waved  their  caps 
and  flags  enthusiastically  and  made  the  welkin 
ring  with  stormy  hurrahs.  '  Here  come  Jenney's 
Wiards— three  rousers  for  him,'  they  would  shout 
as  that  battery  came  by  and  so  on  to  the  last.  No 
general  orders  from  headquarters  could  have  better 
testified  to  the  worth  of  the  services  of  our  artillery 
in  the  field  than  this  spontaneous  and  cordial  out- 
burst on  the  field  of  the  battle*" 

The  army  reached  Newbern  on  the  20th  of  the 

*  Cjyugi  in  the  Field. 


month.  In  recognition  of  the  gallant  conduct  of 
the  battery,  Captain  Jenney  was  recommended  for 
promotion  and  on  the  ist  of  January  was  made  a 
Major  in  the  regiment. 

Immediately  after  the  return  of  the  army  an  ex- 
pedition was  planned  by  General  Foster  to  take 
Wilmington.  To  that  end  during  the  month  of 
January  following  he  moved  the  iSth  Corps  to 
Beaufort,  N  C,  ready  for  embarkation.  Before 
this  event,  however,  his  authority  was  revoked  by 
the  War  Department,  and  he  was  ordered  to  pro- 
ceed with  his  corps  to  South  Carolina,  to  aid  in  the 
capture  of  Charleston. 

In  obedience  to  this  order  the  army  was,  by  Jan- 
uary 30th,  snugly  aboard  a  fleet  of  about  fifty  ves- 
sels, and  on  the  31st  set  sail  reaching  Hilton  Head 
during  the  first  week  of  February. 

Maj.  Jenney,  reluctant  to  surrender  the  command 
of  his  battery,  was  permitted  to  accompany  it  and 
retained  command  until  July  following.  By  this 
expedition  Battery  F  was  divided.  The  guns  and 
gunners  with  only  horses  enough  to  draw  them 
were  taken,  the  rest  of  the  battery  remaining  at 
Newbern  until  the  next  winter,  when  it  joined  the 
main  portion  of  the  battery  in  South  Carolina. 

This  detachment,  however,  was  furnished  with 
two  guns  and,  as  a  section  under  Lieutenant  Clark, 
rendered  efficient  service  in  several  actions  during 
the  period  of  its  detention  in  North  Carolina. 

Upon  the  arrival  of  the  battery  in  South  Carolina 
it  was  encamped  upon  St.  Helena  Island  where  it 
remained  inactive  until  April  ist. 

General  Foster,  upon  his  arrival,  found  nothing 
in  readiness  for  operations  against  Charleston  and 
returned  at  once  to  North  Carolina,  whither  most 
of  his  army  soon  followed  him.  Battery  F,  how- 
ever, was  detained  by  General  Hunter  and  served 
during  the  rest  of  the  war  in  South  Carolina  and 
Florida. 

The  1st  of  April,  1863,  the  battery  received 
marching  orders  and  was  transported  to  F'olly 
Island.  Here  it  was  incorporated  into  Vogdes' 
brigade,  Major  Jenney  becoming  chief  of  artillery 
and  chief  of  staft',  and  also  retaining  command  of 
his  battery.  Work  was  commenced  at  once  fortify- 
ing the  northern  end  of  the  island  with  the  view  of 
storming  and  capturing  Morris  Island  which  lay 
near  and  next  north  of  Folly  at  the  mouth  of 
Charleston  Harbor,  its  capture  being  necessary 
to  the  storming  of  Sumpter  and  capture  of  Charles- 
ton from  the  sea.  This  work  having  been  accom- 
plished with  great  difficulty  and  under  the  almost 
constant  fire  of  the  enemy's  artillery  and  infantry 
from  Morris  Island,  only  400  yards  away,  on  the 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


9* 


9th  of  July,  1S63.  At  daybreak  the  artillery  opened 
fire  upon  Morris  Island  while  Strong's  brigade  in 
small  boats  crossed  the  inlet  under  a  terrible  fire 
and  stormed  and  captured  the  works  upon  the 
southern  end  of  Morris  Island. 

To  Battery  F  was  assigned  the  duty  of  defending 
the  crossing  troops  from  the  fire  of  the  enemy  from 
their  rifle  pits.  This  work  was  so  well  done  that 
twenty-four  of  their  rifle  men  were  found  dead  in 
the  pits. 

General  Strong  advanced  his  brigade  at  once 
and  attempted  to  capture  Fort  Wagner  at  the 
northern  end  of  the  Island  by  storm,  but  was 
twice  successively  repulsed,  July  iSth. 

A  siege  was  necessary  and  was  at  once  com- 
menced. During  this  siege  ^Battery  F,  now  com- 
manded by  Lieutenant  Birchmeyer,  was  always  in 
the  extreme  advance,  pushing  ahead  as  the  intrench- 
ments  were  dug  until  September  6th,  when  the  Fort 
was  taken. 

Lieutenants  Birchmeyer  and  Van  Housen  were 
especially  commended  by  the  commanding  General 
for  their  bravery  and  untiring  exertions,  and  John 
Conway,  Riley  Fancher  and  Matthias  Thyson  were 
presented  with  medals  by  the  government  for 
bravery  in  the  trenches. 

The  battery  remained  upon  Folly  Island  until 
April,  1864,  and  during  this  time  it  was  by  no 
means  inactive. 

In  April,  1864,  the  battery  went  to  Beaufort,  N. 
C,  where  its  camp  remained  until  September  5, 
1864,  when  it  was  ordered  to  Florida. 

While  at  Beaufort  the  spirit  of  the  battery 
was  well  tested  in  the  battles  of  John's  Island 
and  Bloody  Bridge,  in  both  of  which  it  main- 
tained its  early  reputation. 

On  the  14th  of  September  the  battery  arrived  at 
Jacksonville,  where  it  remained  in  camp  until 
November  29th,  when  it  again  returned  to  South 
Carolina,  to  cooperate  under  General  Foster  with 
General  Sherman,  then  marching  to  the  sea. 

During  the  campaign  which  followed,  it  fought  in 
the  battles  of  Honey  Hill,  Dereauxheck,  Camden, 
Ashapo  and  others  of  less  importance.  It  moved 
with  Sherman  to  Raleigh  and  then  returned  to 
Charleston,  S.  C,  where  it  turned  over  its  guns 
and  equipments  to  the  Government,  and  in  the 
month  of  May,  1865,  returned  home  to  Syracuse 
and  was  mustered  out. 

In  July,  1863,  Major  Jenney  was  compelled  to 
leave  the  battery  and  assume  his  duties  as  Major. 
He  proceeded  to  regimental  headquarters  at  New- 
bern,  N.  C,  where  he  was  soon  made  Judge  Advo- 
cate and  shortly  after  Provost  Judge  of  the  De- 


partment. He  occupied  these  positions  until  Sep- 
tember, 1864,  when,  upon  the  recommendation  of 
the  Citizens'  Committee,  he  was  commissioned 
Colonel  of  the  185th  Regiment,  then  being  organ- 
ized at  Syracuse,  and  immediately  went  to  Fortress 
Monroe  to  obtain  leave  from  the  Commanding  Gen- 
eral to  accept  such  promotion.  This  leave  was 
granted  and  he  was  ordered  to  return  to  Newbern 
and  turn  over  his  office  to  his  successor.  He  re- 
turned by  the  way  of  the  Dismal  Canal  and  was 
on  the  little  steamer  Fawn,  which  was  fired  upon 
and  captured  by  a  company  of  rebel  marines.  At 
the  time  the  boat  was  fired  upon  she  was  stopped 
by  a  draw-bridge  suddenly  shot  across  the  canal  by 
rebels  who  had  taken  possession  of  it,  and  the 
rebel  company,  about  70  in  number,  arising  from 
the  cover  of  a  hillock  fired  upon  the  boat.  There 
were  four  officers  and  ten  men  on  the  deck,  sitting 
or  lounging  without  apprehension  of  danger  and  not 
more  than  twenty  feet  from  the  muzzles  of  the 
rebel  guns.  Of  this  party,  ten  out  of  the  fourteen 
were  killed  or  wounded — Major  Jenney  being  one  of 
the  fortunate  ones.  There  was  no  opportunity  for 
resistance,  as  there  was  not  even  a  pistol  on  the 
boat,  which  was  then  passing  through  friendly  terri- 
tory. The  prisoners  were  marched  to  Elizabeth 
City,  about  forty  miles  distant.  In  the  morning 
Major  Jenney  succeeded  in  persuading  the  rebel 
Captain  to  parole  him.  The  parole  being  duly  signed 
Jenney  pretended  to  return  by  the  same  route  he 
had  come,  but  instead  of  doing  so,  went  to  the 
river,  and  capturing  a  small  boat  made  the  best  of 
his  way  down  the  river  and  across  the  Sound  to 
Roanoke  Island.  He  immediately  reported  the 
circumstances  of  his  capture  and  parole  to  the 
Government  and  hastened  home  to  attend  to  the  or- 
ganization of  his  regiment. 


CHAPTER  XXII. 

The  Twelfth  Regiment  New  York  Volunteers 
—  Organization  —  March  to  the  Front — 
Blackburn's  Ford — Bull  Run — The  Peninsu- 
lar Campaign — Yorktown— Hanover  Court 
House. 

THE  1 2th  Regiment  New  York  Volunteer  In- 
fantry was  the  first  organized  in  Onondaga 
county  and  among  the  first  formed  in  the  State  at 
the  outbreak  of  the  rebellion.  On  Monday  after 
the  ever-memorable  Sunday,  April  14,  1861,  on 
which  Sumpter  was  fired  upon,  the  regiment  was 
filled,  enlisting  in  the  State  service  for  two  years. 
It  was  organized  as  follows : 


92 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


Field  and  Staff  Officers — Ezra  L.  Walrath, 
Colonel  ;  James  L.  Graham,  Licut.-Coloncl  ;  John 
Louts,  Major  ;  Silas  Titus,  Adjutant;  Edmund  B. 
Griswold,  Quartermaster ;  Roger  W.  Pease,  Sur- 
geon ;  George  H.  Todd,  Assistant  Surgeon  ;  George 
H.  Root,  Sergcant-Major  ;  Charles  Sedgwick, 
Quartermaster-Sergeant  ;  Robert  C.  Daly,  Drum- 
Major  ;  Spencer  Eaton,  Fife  Major. 

Line  Officers — Company  A :  Morris  H.  Church, 
Captain  ;  Ira  Wood,  Lieutenant ;  Charles  B.  Randall, 
Ensign  ;  Porter  R.  Alger,  Abraham  Fredendoll, 
Abram  Farnic  and  John  Cross,  ist,  2d,  3d  and  4th 
Sergeants ;  William  B.  Patterson,  George  W.  Pratt, 
Charles  K.  F"urman,Jr.,and  Harrison  Wagfjoner,  ist, 
2d,  3d  and  4th  Corporals ;  Daniel  Reiyea,  Drummer. 

Company  B :  Jacob  Brand,  Captain  ;  Peter 
Strauss,  Lieutenant  ;  John  P.  Spanier,  Ensign  ; 
Michael  Auer,  Julius  Hintz,  George  Boiteu,  and 
Max  Fix,  Sergeants  ;  Michael  Welter,  Jacob  Sim- 
mon, Albert  Hoft'mann.and  John  Dauer,  Corporals  ; 
Moritz  Schwarz,  Drummer. 

Company  C  :  Dennis  Driscoll,  Jr.,  Captain  ;  James 
Randall,  Lieutenant ;  John  P.  Stanton,  Ensign  ; 
Michael  Foley,  George  Travis,  John  Lighten,  and 
John  Carroll,  Sergeants  ;  Richard  J.  Wright,  James 
Lewis,  William  Stanton,  and  John  R.  Bailey,  Cor- 
porals ;  Hiram  Foote,  Drummer. 

Company  D  :  George  W.  Stone,  Captain  ;  Lucius 
C.  Storrs,  Lieutenant ;  George  Snyder,  Ensign  ; 
Origcn  S.  Storrs,  Charles  W.  Greene,  John  M. 
Couch,  and  Davis  Jones,  Sergeants  ;  Albertus 
Webb,  John  Muldoon,  Charles  H.  Davis,  and  Henry 
Shirley,  Corporals  ;  Jay  F.  Bates,  Drummer. 

Company  li  :  Jabez  M.  Brower,  Captain  ;  Fred- 
erick Horner,  Lieutenant;  Samuel  J.  Abbott,  En- 
sign ;  Richard  N.  Booth,  Frank  W.  Clock,  Cort- 
land Clark  and  Thomas  J.  Behan,  Sergeants  ; 
Abijah  P.  Mabinc,  Byron  Gilbert,  Hiram  G.  How- 
land  and  Daniel  W.  Barker,  Corporals  ;  Charles  A. 
Taylor,  Drummer. 

Company  F  :  Milo  W.  Locke,  Captain  ;  William 
Gleason,  Lieutenant ;  Stephen  D.  Clark,  Ensign  ; 
Edwin  R.  Dennis,  Charles  S.  Wells,  Watson  E. 
Hart  and  Erastus  P.  Kinne,  Sergeants  ;  Jacob  Van 
Alstync,  George  W.  Blackman,  Handley  Lamb  and 
James  Harroun,  Corporals  ;  John  Robinson,  Drum- 
mer ;  Seth  S.  Thomas,  Fifer. 

Company  G  :  Joseph  C.  Irish,  Captain  ;  John 
H.  Johnson,  Lieutenant ;  Erskine  P.  Woodford, 
Ensign  ;  George  F.  Ballou,  Oliver  T.  May,  Levi  J. 
Irish  and  Rush  Parkhurst,  Sergeants ;  Irving 
Tuttle,  John  H.  Light,  Francis  A.  Darling  and 
Eliakiam  Winchel,  Corporals ;  Jay  H.  Roberts, 
Drummer  ;  Sylvester  Edwards,  Fifer. 


Company  H  :  George  W.  Cole,  Captain:  George 
Truesdell,  Lieutenant ;  Albert  M.  Wiborn,  Ensign  ; 
Edward  Pointer,  James  Giberson,  Thomas  Bartlett 
and  Silas  Carpenter,  Sergeants ;  Charles  Coon, 
Lester  C.  Herrick,  Augustus  H.  Wilkins  and  Jetier- 
son  Button,  Corporals ;  Randolph  Phillips,  Drum- 
mer ;  Alvin  Harder,  Fifer. 

Company  I  :  Henry  A.  Barnum,  Captain ; 
Hamilton  R.  Comb,  Lieutenant  ;  Edward  Drake, 
Ensign  ;  Andrew  V.  Urmy,  Randall  McDonald, 
John  H.  Phillips  and  Joab  W.  Mercer,  Sergeants; 
William  F.  Johnson,  Dexter  Smith,  John  H.  Leon- 
ard and  Asabel  W.  Smith,  Corporals ;  Willett 
Britton,  Drummer ;  Seth  H.  Kingsley.  Fifer. 

Company  K :  Augustus  J.  Root,  Captnin  ;  Wil- 
liam P.  Town,  Lieutenant ;  Lucius  Smith,  Ensign  ; 
Samuel  D.  Sudden,  Charles  F.  Rand,  James  F. 
Taylor  and  Thomas  Tangey,  Sergeants  ;  Samuel 
McChesney,  William  P.  Jones,  James  P.  Taylor 
and  Joseph  L.  Hunt,  Corporals  ;  Albert  A.  Mead, 
Drummer  ;  Francis  M.  Lincoln,  Fifer. 

The  regiment  left  Syracuse  May  2,  1S61,  for 
Elmira,  and  was  there  mustered  into  the  United 
States  service  for  three  months,  May  13.  Receiv- 
ing its  uniform  and  equipments  at  Elmira,  it  left  for 
Washington,  in  company  with  the  13th  New  York, 
from  Rochester,  June  2d,  and  after  quartering  a  few 
days  at  Caspari's  House,  went  into  camp  on  East 
Capitol  Hill. 

July  15,  the  regiment  was  ordered  across  Chain 
Bridge  into  Virginia,  and  was  the  first  to  be  under 
fire  at  Blackburn's  Ford  on  the  iSth,  preliminary  to 
the  first  Bull  Run  engagement.  Lieut.  Randall  of 
this  regiment,  having  command  of  about  twenty  of 
our  men  as  skirmishers,  was  the  first  to  attack  the 
enemy.  George  N.  Cheney,  a  private  of  Company 
A,  was  the  first  man  killed.  In  this  engagement 
six  of  the  I2lh  Regmient  were  killed  and  thirteen 
wounded. 

The  movement  of  the  Union  forces  under  Gen. 
McDowell  (directed  from  Washington  by  Lieut. - 
Gen.  Winficld  Scott  1  commenced  on  Tuesday  July 
i6th.  The  advance  column,  under  Gen.  Tyler, 
bivouacked  that  night  at  Vienna,  four  and  a  half 
miles  from  Fairfax  Court  House,  rested  next  morn- 
ing at  Germantown,  two  miles  beyond  Fairfax, 
and  on  Thursday  at  9  o'clock,  A.  M.,  pushed  on 
through  Centerville,  the  rebels  retiring  quietly  be- 
fore it.  Three  miles  beyond  Centerville  the  rebels 
were  found  strongly  posted  at  Blackburn's  Ford, 
on  Bull  Run  ;  and,  on  being  pressed  by  Tyler's 
force,  a  spirited  engagement  ensued,  at  about  half- 
past  one  P.  M.  The  rebels  were  in  heavy  force  un- 
der  the    immediate  command   of  General   Long- 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


93 


street.  The  attacking  force  on  our  side  was  Sher- 
man's Battery,  under  Captain  Ayres,  supported  by 
Colonel  J.  B.  Richardson's  brigade,  consisting  of 
the  I2th  New  York,  the  ist  Massachusetts,  and 
the  2d  and  3d  Michigan  infantry.  In  this  engage- 
ment the  losses  were  nearly  equal — 83  on  our  side 
and  68  on  that  of  the  enemy.  Considered  as  a  re- 
connoissance  in  force  it  might  be  termed  a  success. 
The  result  demonstrated  that  the  main  body  of  the 
rebel  army  was  in  position  along  the  wooded  valley 
of  Bull  Run,  halfway  between  Centerville  and  Man- 
assas Junction,  and  proposed  to  remain.  As  this 
was  the  first  experience  of  the  12th  Regiment  in 
actual  fighting,  and  as  the  campaign  of  Bull  Run 
was  a  memorable  one,  it  may  be  well  to  introduce 
here  a  few  facts  respecting  the  general  engagement. 
The  following  is  substantially  the  account  given  by 
Greeley,  in  his  American  Conflict,  p.  539-43  : 

"  General  McDowell's  army  being  concentrated 
around  the  ridge  on  which  Centerville  is  situated, 
on  the  i8th  and  19th  of  July,  the  intention  was  to 
advance  on  the  rebels  posted  along  Bull  Run  and 
between  that  and  Manassas  Junction  on  Saturday, 
the  20th.  But  delay  was  encountered  in  the  recep- 
tion of  subsistence,  which  did  not  arrive  till  Friday 
night.  During  Saturday,  three  day's  rations  were 
distributed,  and  every  preparation  made  for  moving 
punctually  at  2  o'clock  next  morning.  Meantime, 
Beauregard,  maintaining  an  absolute  quiet  and  in- 
offensiveness  on  his  front,  and  fully  informed  by 
spies  and  traitors  of  every  movement  between  him 
and  Washington,  had  hastily  gathered  from  every 
side  all  the  available  forces  of  the  Confederacy,  in- 
cluding 15,000,  or  nearly  the  full  strength  of  John- 
ston's Army  of  the  Shenandoah,  and  had  decided  to 
assume  the  offensive  and  attack  our  forces  before 
General  Patterson  could  come  up  and  join  them. 
Had  our  advance  been  made  on  Saturday,  as  was 
originally  intended,  it  would  have  encountered  but 
two-thirds  of  the  force  it  actually  combatted  ;  had 
it  been  delayed  a  few  hours  longer,  we  should  have 
stood  on  the  defensive,  with  the  immense  advantage 
of  knowing  the  ground  and  of  choosing  the  posi- 
tion whereon  to  fight.  Such  are  the  overruling 
casualties  and  fatalities  of  war." 

Bull  Run  afforded  a  good  position  for  planting 
batteries  to  command  the  roads  on  the  opposite  side, 
so  screened  by  the  woods  and  brush  as  to  be  neither 
seen  nor  suspected  until  the  advancing  or  attacking 
column  was  close  upon  them.  This  fact  explains 
and  justifies  Gen.  McDowell's  (or  Scott's)  order  of 
battle,  which  was  briefly  as  follows  :  To  menace  the 
rebel  right  by  the  advance  of  our  ist  division  on  the 
direct  road  from  Centerville  to  Manassas  Junction, 
while  making  a  more  serious  demonstration  on  the 
road  running  due  west  from  Centerville  to  Groveton 
and  Warrenton,  and  crossing  Bull  Run  by  the  Stone 
Bridge.     The  real  or  main  attack  was  to  be  made 


by  a  column  15,000  strong,  composed  of  the  2d 
(Hunter's)  and  the  3d  (Heintzelman's)  divisions, 
which,  starting  from  their  camps  a  mile  or  two  east 
and  southeast  of  Centerville,  were  to  make  a  con- 
siderable detour  to  the  right,  crossing  Cub  Run,  and 
then  Bull  Run,  at  a  ford  known  as  Sudley  Spring, 
three  miles  above  the  Stone  Bridge  ;  thus  turning: 
the  rebel  left,  and  rolling  it  up  on  the  center,  where 
it  was  to  be  taken  in  flank  by  our  ist  division 
(Tyler's),  crossing  the  Stone  Bridge  at  the  right 
moment,  and  completing  the  rout  of  the  enemy. 
The  5th  division  ( Miles')  was  held  in  reserve  at  Cen- 
terville, not  only  to  support  the  attacking  columns, 
but  to  guard  against  the  obvious  peril  of  a  formida- 
ble rebel  advance  on  our  left  across  Blackburn's  Ford 
to  Centerville,  flanking  our  flank  movement,  captur- 
ing our  munitions  and  supplies,  and  cutting  off  our 
line  of  retreat.  The  4th  division  (Runyon's)  guarded 
our  communications  with  Alexandria  and  Arlington, 
its  foremost  regiment  being  about  seven  miles  back 
from  Centerville. 

The  movement  of  our  forces  was  to  have  com- 
menced at  half-past  2  o'clock  a.  m.,  and  the  battle 
should  have  been  opened  at  all  points  at  6  a.  m. 
But  our  raw  troops  had  never  been  brigaded  prior 
to  this  advance,  and  most  of  their  officers  were 
utterly  without  experience  ;  so  that  there  was  a 
delay  of  two  or  three  hours  in  the  flanking  divisions 
reaching  the  point  at  which  the  battle  was  to  begin. 
Gen.  Tyler,  in  front  of  Stone  Bridge,  opened  with 
his  artillery  at  half-past  6  a.  m.,  eliciting  no  reply  ; 
and  it  was  three  hours  later  when  Hunter's  advance, 
under  Colonel  Burnside,  crossed  at  Sudley  Spring. 
His  men,  thirsty  with  their  early  march,  that  hot 
July  morning,  stopped  as  they  crossed  to  fill  their 
canteens.  Meantime,  every  movement  of  our  forces 
was  made  manifest  to  Beauregard,  watching  them 
from  the  slope  two  or  three  miles  west,  by  the 
clouds  of  dust  which  rose  over  their  line  of  march  ; 
and  regiment  after  regiment  was  hurried  northward 
by  him  to  meet  the  imminent  shock.  No  strength 
was  wasted  by  him  upon,  and  scarcely  any  notice 
taken  of,  our  feint  on  his  right.  But  when  Burn- 
side's  brigade,  after  crossing  at  Sudley,  had  marched 
a  mile  or  so  through  woods  down  the  road  on  the 
right  of  Bull  Run,  and  come  out  into  a  clear  and 
cultivated  country,  stretching  thence  over  a  mile  of 
rolling  fields  down  to  Warrenton  turnpike,  he  was 
vigorously  opened  upon  by  artillery  from  the  woods 
in  his  front,  and  as  he  pressed  on,  by  infantry  also. 
Continuing  to  advance,  fighting,  followed  and  sup- 
ported by  Hunter's  entire  division,  which  was  soon 
joined  on  its  left  by  Heintzelman's,  having  crossed 
the  stream  a  little  later  and  further  down,  our  at- 


94 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


tacking  column  reached  and  crossed  the  Warrenton 
road  from  Ccntcr\illc  by  the  Stone  Kridgc,  giving  a 
hand  to  Sherman's  brigade  of  Tyler's  division,  and 
all  but  clearing  the  road  of  the  rebel  batteries  and 
regiments,  which  here  resisted  our  efforts,  under 
the  immediate  command  of  Gen.  Joseph  E.  John- 
ston. Here  Griffin's  Battery,  which,  with  Rickett's, 
had  done  the  most  effective  fighting  throughout, 
was  charged  with  effect  by  a  rebel  regiment,  which 
was  enabled  to  approach  it  with  impunity  by  a  mis- 
take of  our  officers,  who  supposed  it  one  of  our  own. 
Three  different  attacks  were  repulsed  with  slaughter, 
and  the  battery  remained  in  our  hands,  though  all 
the  horses  were  killed.  At  3  p.  m.,  the  rebels  had 
been  driven  a  mile  and  a  half,  and  were  nearly  out 
of  sight,  abandoning  the  Warrenton  road  entirely 
to  our  victorious  troops.  Gen.  Tyler,  on  hearing 
the  guns  of  Hunter  on  our  right,  had  pushed  Sher- 
man's, and  soon  after  Keyse's  Brigade,  over  the 
Run  to  assail  the  enemy  in  his  front,  driving  them 
back  after  a  severe  struggle,  and  steadily  advancing 
until  checked  by  a  heavy  fire  of  artillery  from  bat- 
teries on  the  heights  above  the  road,  supported  by 
a  brigade  of  rebel  infantry  strongly  posted  behind 
breastworks.  A  gallant  charge  by  the  2d  Maine 
and  3d  Connecticut,  temporarily  carried  the  build- 
ings behind  which  the  rebel  guns  were  sheltered, 
but  the  breastworks  were  too  strong,  and  our  men 
recoiling  from  their  fire,  deflected  to  the  left,  mov- 
ing down  the  Run  under  the  shelter  of  the  bluft", 
covering  the  efforts  of  Capt.  Alexander's  Pioneers 
to  remove  the  heavy  abatis  whereby  the  rebels  had 
obstructed  the  road  up  from  the  Stone  Bridge. 
This  had  at  length  been  effected,  and  Schenck's 
brigade  and  Ayres's  battery  of  Tyler's  division 
were  on  the  point  of  crossing  the  Run  to  aid  in  com- 
pleting our  triumph. 

But  the  rebels,  at  first  outnumbered  at  the  point 
of  actual  collision,  had  been  receiving  reenforce- 
mcnts  nearly  all  day,  and  at  this  critical  moment. 
General  Kirby  Smith,  who  had  that  morning  left 
Piedmont,  fifteen  miles  distant,  with  the  remaining 
brigade  of  General  Johnston's  army,  appeared  on 
the  field.  Cheer  after  cheer  burst  from  the  rebel 
hosts,  but  now  so  downcast,  as  this  timely  recnforce- 
ment  rushed  to  the  front  of  the  battle.  General 
Johnston  had  been  heard  to  exclaim  but  a  moment 
before  to  General  Cocke,  "  Oh,  for  four  regiments  !  " 
His  wish  was  answered.  Smith,  in  riding  to  the 
front,  almost  instantly  fell  from  his  horse  wounded. 
Colonel  Arnold  Elzley  promptly  assumed  command 
of  his  brigade,  and  rushed  forward,  backed  by  the 
whole  reassured  and  exultant  rebel  host,  who  felt 
that  the  day  was  won.     Our  soldiers,  who  had  been 


thirteen  hours  marching  and  fighting,  hungry, 
thirsty,  weary,  and  continually  encountering  fresh 
rebel  troops,  without  seeing  even  a  company  hurry- 
ing to  their  support,  became  suddenly  dismayed 
and  jjanic  stricken.  Elzley's  and  Early's  fresh 
battalions  filled  the  woods  on  their  right,  extending 
rapidly  toward  its  rear,  firing  on  them  from  under 
cover,  and  seeming  by  their  shots  and  cries  to  be 
innumerable.  Two  or  three  of  our  regiments  re- 
coiled and  then  broke,  rushing  down  to  the  Run. 
Johnston  again  ordered  Ewell  to  advance  and  attack, 
which  he  did,  but  was  received  by  the  2d  Brigade 
(  Colonel  T.  A.  Davis )  with  so  rapid  and  spirited  a 
fire  of  grape  and  cannister  that  he  precipitately  re- 
treated. 

There  were  still  more  than  three  hours  of  good 
daylight  when  the  rebels  saw  our  routed  right  rush- 
ing madly  from  the  field,  like  frightened  sheep,  yet 
their  pursuit  amounted  to  nothing.  They  came 
across  Bull  Run,  preceded  by  their  cavalry,  and 
seem  to  have  taken  a  deliberate  though  rather 
distant  survey  of  the  5th  division,  drawn  up  in  good 
order  along  the  slope  west  of  Centerville,  and  eager- 
ly expecting  their  advance.  But  they  appear  to  have 
been  aware  that  their  victory  was  a  lucky  accident, 
and  they  did  not  choose  to  submit  its  prestige  to  the 
chance  of  another  fray.  Our  5th  division,  constitut- 
ing the  reserve,  now  became  the  rear  guard  of  our 
army,  and  remained  in  position  till  after  midnight, 
when,  under  peremptory  orders  from  Gen.  Mc- 
Dowell, it  commenced  its  deliberate  retreat  to  the 
environs  of  Washington.  Although  the  retreat 
from  the  battle  field  of  Bull  Run,  was  a  panic- 
stricken  flight  on  the  part  of  a  considerable  number 
of  raw  and  undisciplined  troops  and  a  multitude  of 
stragglers  and  spectators  who  went  out  of  Washing- 
ton  on  that  fine  Sunday  to  witness  the  battle,  yet  a 
portion  of  our  army  retired  in  good  order.  Says 
Major  Berry,  our  chief  of  Artillery  in  the  battle  : 

"  The  army  having  retired  upon  Centerville,  I  was 
ordered  by  General  McDowell  in  person,  to  post  the 
artillery  in  position  to  cover  the  retreat.  The  bat- 
teries of  Hunt,  Ayres,  Tidball,  Edwards,  Green  and 
the  New  York  8th  regiment  (the  latter  served  by 
volunteers  from  Wilcox's  brigade)  20  pieces  in  all, 
were  at  once  placed  in  ])osition  ;  and  thus  remained 
till  12  o'clock,  p.  M.,  when  orders  having  been  re- 
ceived to  retire  upon  the  I'otomac,  the  batteries 
were  put  in  march,  and  covered  by  Richardson's 
brigade  retired  in  good  order  and  without  haste,  and 
early  next  morning  reoccupied  their  former  camps 
on  the  Potomac." 

The  1 2th  Regiment  during  this  expedition  was 
brigaded  with  the  ist  Massachusetts  and  the  2d 
and  3d  Michigan,  under  command  of  Col.  J.  D. 
Richardson.     On   Monday,  the  22d  of  July,   they 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK, 


95 


returned  from  Bull  Run,  as  rear  guard  of  the  re- 
treating army,  and  on  the  24th  occupied  a  portion 
of  the  camp  of  the  8th  Militia  at  Arlington  Heights, 
where  they  remained  a  few  days  and  then  encamped 
upon  the  flats  near  the  Long  Bridge  turnpike.  On 
the  13th,  they  removed  to  Fort  Albany  and  relieved 
the  25th  New  York  Militia,  and  thence  on  the  30th 
to  a  camp  south  of  the  Arlington  House,  and  con- 
structed Fort  Craig — one  of  a  continuous  line  of 
fortifications  from  Alexandria  to  Chain  Bridge.  On 
the  evening  of  August  26,  three  companies  under 
Captain  Barnum,  were  detailed  on  picket  duty  to- 
wards Upton's  Hill,  and  had  a  lively  skirmish  with 
the  rebels  lasting  nearly  all  day.  They  were  re- 
pulsed by  the  rebels  to  Ball's  Cross  Roads.  Ser- 
geant-Major  Estes  and  private  Hitchcock  were 
wounded,  the  latter  mortally,  and  Fred.  Darby,  of 
Company  D,  taken  prisoner.  On  the  27th  of  Sep- 
tember, a  general  advance  was  made  upon  Upton's 
Hill,  and  the  12th  Regiment  established  permanent 
camp  in  which  they  remained  till  early  in  the  month 
of  February. 

On  the  3d  of  February,  1S62,  the  regiment  was 
consolidated  with  the  12th  New  York  Militia,  so 
called,  a  body  of  550  recruits  raised  by  Henry  A. 
Weeks  in  the  city  of  New  York.  Up  to  this  time 
the  1 2th  Regiment  had  been  about  nine  months  in 
service,  and  through  losses  in  the  field  and  sickness 
had  been  reduced  to  450  officers  and  men.  When 
General  McClellan  was  at  this  time  making  up  the 
Armv  of  the  Potomac,  this  remnant  of  the  12th 
Volunteers  was  to  be  left  out  and  kept  for  garrison 
duty  in  the  defences  of  Washington,  to  serve  as 
heavy  artillery  under  command  of  Lieutenant-Col- 
onel R.  M.  Richardson.  Colonel  Richardson  did 
not  feel  satisfied  with  this  idea,  and  being  desirous 
that  another  regiment  should  be  put  in  active  ser- 
vice at  the  front,  he  obtained  leave  of  absence,  went 
to  New  York  and  found  Henry  A.  Weeks  with  550 
recruits,  called  the  12th  New  York  Militia,  made 
arrangements  for  the  consolidation  of  these  recruits 
with  the  remnant  of  the  12th  New  York  Volunteers, 
on  condition  that  Mr.  Weeks  should  be  Colonel  of 
the  new  regiment ;  thus  relinquishing  the  command 
of  his  own  regiment  in  order  to  effect  the  new  or- 
ganization. 

In  the  consolidation  the  ten  companies  of  the 
1 2th  Regiment  were  reduced  to  five,  the  12th  Mili- 
tia furnishing  five.  The  companies  of  the  12th 
New  York  Volunteers,  which  retained  their  or- 
ganizatione  were  companies  A,  G,  H,  I  and  K,  offi- 
cered respectively  by  Captains  Root,  Randall, 
Wood,  Truesdell  and  Coombs.  The  field  officers 
were  Henry  A.  Weeks,  Colonel ;    R.  M.  Richard- 


son, Lieutenant-Colonel ;  Henry  A.  Barnum,  Ma- 
jor ;  George  W.  Watson,  Adjutant ;  Porter  R. 
Alger,  Quartermaster ;  A.  B.  Shipman,  Surgeon  ; 
George  B.  Todd,  Assistant  Surgeon.  The  officers 
rendered  supernumerary  by  the  consolidation  were 
mustered  out  of  the  service.  Most  of  them  reen- 
listed,  and  in  other  organizations  attained  consider- 
able distinction  during  the  war. 

On  the  13th  of  March,  1862,  Gen.  McClellan 
organized  the  Army  of  the  Potomac.  At  that  date 
the  1 2th  Regiment  was  attached  to  Gen.  Butter- 
field's  brigade,  consisting  of  the  I2th,  17th  and 
44th  New  York,  the  i6th  Michigan  and  the  83d 
Pennsylvania  regiments  ;  and  thus  organized  ac- 
companied the  Army  of  the  Potomac  under  Gen. 
McClellan  to  the  Peninsula.  They  were  engaged 
in  the  siege  of  Yorktown,  daily  furnishing  a  large 
detail  of  men  to  work  in  the  trenches,  and  on  the 
14th  of  April,  engaged  in  a  sharp  skirmish  with 
the  rebels  who  had  attacked  our  picket  lines. 

On  the  4th  of  May,  General  Magruder  evacuated 
Yorktown  with  his  forces.  McClellan  had  been 
thirty  days  in  front  of  the  works,  and  was  intending 
to  open  the  siege  on  the  6th  of  May,  but  he  found, 
two  days  earlier,  that  Magruder  had  abandoned  his 
works,  including  Yorktown,  during  the  preceding 
night,  and  had  retreated  up  the  Peninsula.  While 
the  pursuit  of  the  rebels  was  prompt  and  energetic 
under  Stoneman  and  Hooker  to  Williamsburg, 
where  Hooker's  division  withstood  30,000  of  the 
rebel  force  during  an  entire  day  without  reenforce- 
ments.  General  McClellan  remained  at  Yorktown 
supervising  the  embarkation  of  Franklin's,  Butter- 
field's  and  other  troops,  including  our  12th  New 
York  Regiment,  for  West  Point,  whence  they 
moved  up  the  Pamunkey  River  and  thence  across 
to  New  Bridge  on  the  Chickahominy.  Here  the 
1 2th  Regiment  was  in  the  3d  Brigade,  under 
Genera!  D.  C.  Butterfield,  ist  Division  (General 
Morrell's)  Sth  Corps,  commanded  by  General  Fitz- 
John  Porter  ;  and  so  remained  throughout  the 
service.  On  the  24th  of  May,  fighting  commenced 
on  the  Chickahominy,  near  New  Bridge.  The  4th 
Michigan  (Colonel  Woodbury)  waded  the  stream  and 
assailed  and  drove  off  a  superior  rebel  force,  losing 
but  8  men  in  all,  and  taking  37  prisoners,  of 
whom  15  were  wounded.  Directly  afterwards  Gen. 
Fitz-John  Porter,  commanding  the  5th  Corps,  on 
our  right,  was  ordered  to  advance  from  New  Bridge 
via.  Mechanicsville  to  Hanover  Court  House,  in 
order  to  facilitate  and  render  secure  Gen.  McDowell's 
expected  junction  from  Fredericksburg.  Starting 
at  3  A.  M ,  May  27,  in  a  pouring  rain,  our  cavalry 
advance,  under  Gen.  W.  H.  Emory,  had  reached,  at 


96 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


noon,  a  point  two  miles  southward  of  the  Court 
House,  where  the  road  forks  to  Ashland,  and  where 
the  enemy  were  found  in  position  to  bar  our  further 
progress.  The  25th  New  York  and  Berdan's  sharp- 
shooters speedily  coming  up,  they  were  deployed  by 
Gen.  Emory,  with  a  section  of  Benson's  battery,  and 
thus  advanced  slowly  towards  the  enemy  until  re- 
enforced  by  Gen.  D.  C.  Hutterfield,  with  four  regi- 
ments of  his  brigade,  when  the  enemy  was  charged 
and  quickly  routed,  one  of  his  guns  being  captured 
by  Col.  Lansing's  17th  New  York.  The  cavalry, 
Benson's  battery,  and  Gen.  Morrell's  infantry  and 
artillery,  keenly  pursued  the  fugitives  while  Mar- 
tindales's  brigade  with  a  section  of  artillery, 
advanced  on  the  Ashland  road,  pushing  back 
the  enemy  in  his  front,  until  ordered  to  reform 
his  brigade  and  move  up  the  railroad  to  the  Court 
House.  One  regiment  having  taken  that  course.  Gen. 
Martindale  was  left  with  but  two  and  a  half  regiments 
and  one  section  of  Martin's  battery,  when  he  was 
attacked  by  a  superior  force  and  compelled  to  main- 
tain the  unequal  contest  for  an  hour.  Meantime 
Gen.  Porter,  at  the  Court  House,  learning  that  his 
rear  was  thus  attacked,  faced  his  whole  column 
about  and  moved  rapidly  to  the  rescue,  sending  the 
13th  and  14th  New  York,  with  Griffin's  battery, 
directly  to  Martindale's  assistance,  pushing  the  9th 
Massachusetts  and  G2d  Pennsylvania,  through  the 
woods  on  the  right  to  take  the  enemy  in  flank, 
while  Butterfield  with  the  83d  Pennsylvania  and 
iGth  Michigan  hastened  through  the  woods,  still 
further  to  the  right,  and  completed  the  rout  of  the 
enemy.  Their  loss  is  stated  by  Gen.  McClellan  at 
2,CXX)  killed,  730  prisoners,  including  wounded,  one 
12  pound  howitzer,  many  small-arms,  two  railroad 
trains,  and  their  camp  at  Hanover  Court  House 
captured  and  destroyed.  Our  loss  was  53  killed 
and  344  wounded.  The  rebel  force  thus  defeated 
consisted  of  Gen.  Branch's  division  of  North  Caro- 
lina and  Georgia  troops,  estimated  at  9,000  strong. 


CHAPTER  XXIII. 

Twelfth  Regiment  Continued  —  Mechanics- 
viLLE — Retreat  Ackoss  the  Chickahominy 
— Flank  Movement  to  the  James— Malvern 
Hill — Harrison's  Landing  —  Second  Bull 
KuN — Antietam — Fredericksburg —  Return 
Home  —  List  of  Promotions — The  ioist 
Regiment. 

OUR  Corps   returned   to  camp    at    Gaines's 
Mill,  and  on  the  26th  of  June  were  ordered 
up  to  Mechanicsville  to  support  the  Pennsylvania 


reser\'es,  under  Gen.  McCall.  This  force  which 
had  recently  been  sent  down  to  rtenforce  Gea 
McClellan,  and  had  never  till  now  been  in  action, 
were  posted  on  advantageous  ground  across  Beaver 
Dam  Creek.  The  supporting  corps  of  Gen.  Porter 
consisted  of  Morrell's  Division  and  Sykes's  Regu- 
lars, about  27,000  men.  Prior  to  the  opening  of 
this  series  of  battles  Gen.  Robert  E.  Lee  had  suc- 
ceeded to  the  chief  command  of  the  Rebel  Army, 
and  had  cautiously  concentrated  about  70,000  men 
on  the  Chickahominy.  The  movement  on  Mechan- 
icsville was  to  have  been  made  early  on  the  morn- 
ing of  the  26th  of  June,  at  which  time  the  batteries 
on  the  southern  bluff  of  the  Chickahominy  were  to 
open  fire.  But  the  rebels  were  delayed  by  the  non- 
arrival  of  Stonewall  Jackson,  and  did  not  attack  our 
lines  till  3  i'.  m.  His  advance  had  been  discovered 
three  hours  before,  so  that  our  pickets  were  called 
in  before  it,  and  the  regiment  and  battery  holding 
Mechanicsville  fell  back,  fighting,  to  the  strong  po- 
sition held  by  the  Pennsylvania  Reserves,  and  Por- 
ter's (5th)  corps.  This  brought  the  reserves  and 
5th  corps  into  action  against  the  great  body  of  the 
rebel  force  under  the  two  Hills  and  Longstreet, 
which  came  rapidly  on  attempting  to  turn  our  left 
flank,  but  were  repulsed  with  fearful  carnage. 
"  Night,"  says  Greeley,  "fell  on  a  decided  and  ani- 
mating success  of  our  mainly  green  soldiers, 
though  the  fighting  did  not  cease  till  after  dark,  and 
the  rebels  remained  in  force  not  far  from  our  front. 
Our  total  loss  in  this  affair  was  less  than  400,  while 
that  of  the  rebels  must  have  been  many  times 
larger  ;  and  when  near  the  close  of  the  battle,  fresh 
troops  came  up  to  relieve  the  exhausted  reserves, 
they  refused  to  give  place,  but,  replenishing  their 
ammunition,  lay  down  on  their  arms  to  await  the 
encounter  of  the  morrow." 

On  the  27th,  before  daylight,  an  order  from  Gen. 
McClellan  (^who  had  learned,  meantime,  that  Jackson 
was  approaching,)  directed  the  evacuation  of  our 
strong  position  and  a  retreat  to  Gaines's  Mill.  This 
was  a  very  difficult  movement  to  effect,  as  the  rebel 
attack  was  renewed  a  few  minutes  afterwards.  Still, 
the  enemy  was  repulsed,  though  our  men  were  re- 
tiring at  the  same  time,  Meade's,  Griffin's,  Rey- 
nolds' and  Morrell's  commands  moving  steadily  off 
the  field,  as  if  on  parade  ;  our  dead  all  buried,  our 
wounded  and  arms  brought  away,  with  the  loss  of 
no  caisson,  hardly  a  musket,  by  a  little  after  7  a. 
M.,  leaving  the  rebels  unaware  for  the  moment  that 
there  was  no  longer  an  enemy  before  them.  Before 
noon  the  splendid  retreat  was  completed  ;  each 
regiment  and  battery  had  taken  the  new  position 
assigned  it  at  Gaines's  Mill,  our  brigade  (with  the 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


97 


I2th  Regiment,)  under  command  of  Lieiit.-Colonel 
Richardson,  forming  the  extreme  left,  resting  on 
the  Chicivahominy. 

Soon  after  noon  on  the  27th,  the  rebels  arrived 
in  front  of  our  new  position.  A.  P.  Hill,  who  had 
been  awaiting  Jackson's  arrival,  opened  the  battle 
at  2  p.  M.  Sykes's  regulars  received  him  with  heroic 
bravery.  They  were  staggered  and  temporarily 
repulsed.  At  this  juncture,  Longstreet,  D.  H. 
Hill,  Jackson  and  Ewell,  came  into  the  battle,  with 
the  whole  of  Lee's  forces  ;  a  general  advance  from 
right  to  left  was  ordered  and  made,  under  a  terrific 
fire  of  cannon  and  musketry  from  both  sides. 

General  Porter  had  a  strong  position  on  the  side 
of  a  ravine  formed  by  a  small  creek  and  screened 
in  part  by  trees  and  underbrush,  with  Morrell's  and 
Sykes's  divisions  in  front,  and  McCall's  forming  a 
second  line  behind  them.  His  cavalry,  under  P. 
St.  George  Cooke,  in  the  valley  of  the  Chicka- 
hominy,  watched  the  rebels  in  that  quarter.  His 
siege  guns,  which  had  been  withdrawn  across  the 
Chickahominy  during  the  night,  were  planted  in 
battery  on  the  right  bank  of  the  stream,  so  as  to 
check  the  advance  of  the  rebel  right  and  prevent 
their  turning  our  left.  He  could  have  presented 
a  formidable  covering  of  abatis  on  his  front  and 
right,  had  he  been  supplied  with  axes,  but  these 
were  unaccountably  wanting.  His  request  for 
them  to  General  Barnard  reached  McClellan  too 
late.  He  finally  received  some  without  handles, 
and  while  these  were  being  supplied  the  opportunity 
for  using  axes  was  past.  His  first  call  on  McClellan 
for  reenforcements  likewise  miscarried.  His  next 
was  made  at  2  p.  m.  ,  when  Slocum's  Division  of  the 
6th  Corps  was  ordered  to  his  support,  arriving  on 
the  field  at  3:30,  after  our  position  had  been 
assailed  in  force  at  every  point,  and  after  McCall's 
Division  had  been  ordered  up  to  support  our  sorely 
pressed  front.  So  urgent  and  instant  was  the 
pressure  that  Slocum's  Division  had  to  be  divided 
and  thrown  by  brigades  and  even  regiments  to  the 
points  where  the  need  of  aid  seemed  greatest. 
Reynolds,  with  one  brigade  of  McCall's  Reserves, 
having  reached  the  front  and  driven  the  enemy 
before  him,  hearing  the  noise  of  a  terrific  con- 
test on  his  left,  moved  immediately  to  that  point 
where  his  assistance  seemed  necessary.  And  thus 
the  battle  raged  for  hours ;  repeated  charges  on 
our  lines  being  repulsed,  but  fresh  brigades  advanc- 
ing promptly  to  replace  them,  until  our  wasted  reg- 
iments, having  exhausted  their  amunition,  were 
obliged  to  retire  and  replenish  it.  Porter,  though  he 
had  lost  Httle  ground,  telegraphed  to  McClellan  for 
reenforcements,  who  ordered  forward  French's  and 
.3* 


Meagher's  brigades  of  the  2d  corps  ;  but,  before  they 
could  reach  the  field,  the  rebels,  rallying  all  their 
forces,  just  at  sunset,  stormed  our  entrenchments 
right  and  left,  driving  back  their  brave  defenders 
with  mutual  carnage,  and  capturing  several  of  our 
guns. 

"General  Porter,  seeing  his  infantry  beaten,  now 
called  into  action  all  his  reserved  and  remaining 
artillery,  and  thus  bringing  at  once  some  80  guns 
into  action,  was  covering  the  retreat  of  his  infantry 
and  dealing  fearful  retribution  on  their  assailants, 
whose  advance  was  suddenly  checked  ;  when  Gen. 
Cooke,  without  orders,  undertook  to  charge  with  a 
battalion  of  cavalry,  the  right  flank  of  the  rebels 
advancing  on  our  left,  and  still  covered  in  good  part 
by  woods.  This  charge  being  met  by  a  withering 
fire  of  musketry,  amidst  the  roar  of  a  hundred  belch- 
ing cannon,  resulted  in  instant  rout ;  the  frightened 
horses,  whether  with  or  without  the  consent  of  their 
riders,  wheeling  abruptly  and  crashing  through  our 
batteries;  leading  our  gunners  to  suppose,  for  the 
moment,  that  they  were  charged  by  regiments  of 
rebel  horse."  "To  this  alone,"  says  Fitz-John  Por- 
ter, in  his  report,  "is  to  be  attributed  our  failure  to 
hold  the  field,  and  to  bring  off  all  our  guns  and 
wounded." 

"  In  another  moment  the  cheering  shouts  of 
French's  and  Meagher's  men  were  heard,  as  they 
advanced  rapidly  to  the  front.  Rallying  behind 
these  two  fresh  brigades,  our  wearied,  decimated 
regiments  advanced  up  the  hill,  down  which  they 
had  recently  been  driven,  ready  to  meet  a  fresh 
attack,  had  one  been  attempted.  But  the  enemy, 
perceiving  that  they  were  confronted  by  fresh  com- 
batants, and  not  knowing  our  force,  halted  for  the 
night  on  the  field  they  had  so  hardly  won."* 

During  the  night  our  forces  were  withdrawn 
across  the  Chickahominy,  leaving  19  guns  on  the 
battle  field  and  three  run  off  the  bridge  into  the 
stream.  Our  losses  in  this  action  have  been  esti- 
mated at  6,000  killed  and  wounded  ;  Greeley  foots 
them  up  to  "  hardly  less  than  8,000  men,"  the  rebels 
losing  probably  "about  two  thirds  as  many."  Our 
I2th  Regiment  lost  heavily,  among  whom  were 
Captain  Truesdell,  severely  wounded,  also  Captain 
Crombie,  Lieut.  S.  A.  Estes,  Lieut.  Fisher,  mor- 
tally ;  Lieut.  Barton,  killed  ;  Lieut.  Paul  A.  Oliver, 
severely  wounded  in  the  scalp,  but  not  fatally. 
Quite  a  large  number  (144)  of  this  regiment  were 
killed  and  taken  prisoners. 

McClellan  having  now  determined  on  a  flank 
movement  through  White  Oak  Swamp  to  the 
James,  our  regiment  followed  the  next  day  to  Sav- 
age's Station,  crossed  White  Oak  Swamp  on  the 
29th  of  June,  and  on  Tuesday,  July  ist,  were  en- 
gaged in  the  battle  of  Malvern  Hill.  The  rebels, 
as  soon  as  they  had  discovered  McClellan's  move- 
ments, crossed  the  Chickahominy  and  pursued  after 

Greeley,  vol.  ii,  p.    I  57. 


98 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


him.  Without  recounting  the  battles  and  hard- 
ships of  this  march,  the  terrible  conflict  of  the  30th 
of  June,  in  which  a  portion  of  our  army  was  en- 
gaged on  the  road  leading  from  New  Marlcct  to 
Long  Bridge,  we  shall  follow  more  directly  the  for- 
tunes of  the  1 2th  Regiment,  which  reached  Malvern 
Hill  at  9  o'clock  a.  m.,  June  30th.  Gen.  Porter, 
with  his  corps,  had  been  delayed  in  crossing  White 
Oak  Swamp,  and  hence  did  not  reach  Malvern  Hill 
till  the  time  above  stated.  The  entire  wasted  and 
way-worn  army  had  been  concentrated  on  the  bat- 
tle ground  on  the  ist  of  July,  the  rear  guard  arriv- 
ing that  forenoon,  closely  pursued  by  the  converg- 
ing columns  of  the  rebels.  "  The  an.xiousdays  and 
sleepless  nights  of  the  preceding  week  ;  the  con- 
stant and  resolute  efforts  required  to  force  their 
forty  miles  of  guns  and  trains  over  the  narrow, 
wretched  roads  which  traverse  White  Oak  Swamp  ; 
their  ignorance  of  the  locality,  and  exposure  to  be 
ambushed  and  assailed  at  every  turn,  rendered  this 
retreat  an  ordeal  for  our  men  long  to  be  remem- 
bered." 

General  McClcllan  had  reached  Malvern  Hill  the 
day  before  the  battle,  and  selecting  his  position,  left 
orders  with  General  Barnard  to  post  the  troops  as 
they  arrived,  while  he  went  down  the  river  on  the 
gunboat  Galena  to  select  a  position  at  which  he  pro- 
posed to  terminate  his  retreat.  The  rebels  con- 
sumed considerable  time  in  getting  into  position 
and  bringing  up  the  artillery  necessary  to  respond 
to  our  heavy  and  well  placed  batteries.  At  length 
the  battle  was  opened  by  D.  H.  Hill's  division  at  3 
p.  M.  on  our  left,  and  directly  in  front  of  that  portion  of 
our  army  in  which  the  12th  Regiment  was  stationed. 
The  order  of  our  troops  is  thus  described  :  "  Porter, 
with  Sykes's  and  Morrell's  divisions,  held  our  left, 
with  Couch's  division  next,  then  Kearney  and 
Hooker,  forming  Heintzelman's  corps ;  next  to 
these  Sedgwick  and  Richardson,  under  Sumner, 
with  Smith  and  Slocum,  under  Franklin,  on  our 
right ;  wiiile  McCall's  shattered  Pennsylvania  Re- 
serves and  our  cavalry  were  posted  in  the  rear,  near 
the  river.  Batteries  above,  batteries  along  the  brow 
of  the  hill,  rendered  the  attack  little  less  than  mad- 
ness." Yet,  as  we  have  said,  the  attack  on  Porter's 
Corps  was  made  at  3  i".  m  ,  under  general  orders  to 
break  our  lines  by  a  concentric  fire  of  artillery,  and 
then  "  charge  with  a  yell "  on  our  entire  front 
with  columns  of  infantry,  which  should  rush  over 
our  defences,  as  they  did  in  the  final  assault  at 
Gaines's  Mill,  and  drive  our  fugitive  army  into  the 
James.  The  infantry  attack  was  made  with  great 
spirit,  amidst  fearful  carnage,  and  for  some  time 
raged  along  nearly  our  entire  line  ;  but  Hill,  being 


unsupported   by   the  general  advance   which  had 
been  ordered,  was  hurled  back  with  heavy  loss. 

At  the  opening  of  this  action  just  as  our  12th 
Regiment  was  taking  position.  Major  Henry  A. 
liarnum  was  wounded  by  a  rebel  shot,  the  bullet 
passing  through  the  left  hip,  inflicting  a  very  criti- 
cal and  dangerous  wound,  which  kept  him  many 
months  out  of  the  service. 

After  the  first  fruitless  attempt  of  the  enemy  to 
break  our  lines,  a  considerable  pause  ensued  during 
which  both  sides  were  getting  ready  for  the  main 
battle  of  the  day.  The  sheltering  woods  enabled 
the  rebels  to  form  their  columns  of  assault  within 
a  few  hundred  yards  of  our  batteries.  At  about 
6  I".  M.,  when  the  attack  was  renewed,  they 
emerged  upon  a  full  run,  and  rushed  upon  our  lines 
in  utter  recklessness  of  their  withering  fire,  assault- 
ing in  such  desperation,  that  Sickles's  brigade  of 
Hooker's  division,  and  Meagher's  brigade  of  Rich- 
ardson's division,  were  ordered  up  to  the  support  of 
Porter  and  Couch,  who  now  held  our  right  front, 
which  Jackson  was  charging  furiously  ;  but  not 
one  of  our  guns  was  temporarily  captured  or  seri- 
ously imperiled  throughout  the  fight.  The  loss  of 
the  rebels  is  supposed  to  have  been  treble  that  of 
our  own — in  this  battle  over  10,000  killed,  wounded 
and  missing.  Gen.  McCiellan  reports  the  aggre- 
gate losses  of  his  army  in  the  seven  days  fighting, 
from  Mechanicsville  to  Harrison's  Landing,  at 
1,582  killed,  7,709  wounded,  and  5,958  missing; 
total,  15,249. 

After  the  battle  of  Malvern  Hill,  our  regiment, 
together  with  the  army,  removed  to  Harrison's  Land- 
ing, on  the  James  River.  The  rear  guard  moved 
into  camp  on  the  evening  of  the  3d  of  July,  and  the 
army  was  at  rest,  after  their  hard  fighting  and 
marching.  During  the  night  of  July  31st,  Gen. 
F'rench,  having  been  sent  by' Lee  with  43  guns,  to 
approach  Harrison's  Bar  stealthily  on  the  south 
side  of  the  James,  opened  a  fire  on  our  camp  and 
vessels,  whereby  10  of  our  soldiers  were  killed  and 
15  wounded.  Our  guns  were  brought  to  bear  upon 
him  and  he  fled  before  daylight.  His  cannonade 
lasted  only  about  half  an  hour.  This  is  the  only 
incident  of  any  importance  that  occurred  while  in 
camp  at  this  point. 

Left  Harrison's  Landing  on  the  14th  of  August, 
and  came  down  the  river,  halting  at  Yorktown, 
camping  on  the  same  ground  occupied  by  our 
regiment  during  the  siege.  General  Porter  was 
under  orders  to  halt  the  advance  here  ;  but  inter- 
cepting a  letter  informing  him  that  the  enemy  were 
concentrating  rapidly  on  Pope  with  intent  to  crush 
him  before  he  could  be  rccnforced,  he  took  the  re- 


PnSTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


99 


sponsibility  of  pressing  on  to  Newport  News,  which 
he  reached  on  the  i8th,  having  marched  sixty  miles 
in  three  days.  On  the  20th  he  embarked  his  corps 
on  transports  to  Aquia  Creek,  whence  they  were 
sent  by  rail  to  Falmouth,  opposite  Fredericksburg. 
Moved  up  the  Rappahannock,  joined  Pope's  army 
and  participated  in  the  second  battle  of  Bull  Run, 
August  30,  1862. 

Porter,  on  arriving  at  the  scene  of  action,  was 
ordered,  (supported  by  King,)  to  advance  down  the 
Warrenton  turnpike  and  attack  the  enemy,  who  in 
that  quarter  were  greatly  superior  in  numbers.  The 
result  was  that  Porter's  corps  was  hurled  back  in 
confusion.  The  rebels  pursued  eagerly  and  joined 
battle  along  our  entire  front,  struggling  desperately 
to  overwhelm  and  turn  our  left,  where  Schenck, 
Milroy  and  Reynolds,  reenforced  by  Ricketts, 
maintained  the  unequal  contest  throughout  the 
afternoon.  Porter's  corps  was  rallied,  reformed 
and  pushed  to  their  support,  rendering  such 
good  service  that  for  a  time  the  attack  seemed 
likely  to  prove  successful.  But  our  advancing 
troops  soon  began  to  be  mowed  down  by  the 
cross-fire  of  four  batteries  from  Longstreet's  left, 
which  decimated  and  drove  them  back  in  con- 
fusion. Jackson,  seeing  them  recoil,  immediately 
ordered  an  advance.  Longstreet  supported  it, 
pushing  forward  his  whole  command  against  our 
center  and  left.  At  dark,  our  left  had  been  forced 
back  considerably,  but  still  stood  firm  and  unbroken, 
and  covered  the  turnpike,  which  was  our  only  safe 
line  of  retreat.  That  night  the  retreat  began  by 
order  of  Gen.  Pope,  and  was  pursued  quietly  and  in 
good  order,  until  his  whole  army  was  drawn  back 
within  the  intrenchments  along  the  south  bank  of 
the  Potomac,  covering  the  approaches  to  Washing- 
ton, when  Pope  resigned  and  was  succeeded  by  Gen. 
McClellan. 

In  this  battle  the  12th  Regiment  lost  heavily. 
Among  the  wounded  were  Col.  Henry  A.  Weeks, 
who  on  that  day  had  commanded  a  brigade  ;  Capt. 
Root  and  Lieut.  Behan.  The  muster  of  the  regi- 
ment next  morning  showed  only  106  men,  one  staff 
officer  and  six  line  officers.  The  brigade  went  into 
the  fight  with  over  1,500  men,  and  came  out  with 
only  about  600. 

On  the  night  of  September  2d,  our  brigade  went 
into  camp  at  Arlington  Heights,  near  the  site  of 
the  old  camp  occupied  by  the  12th  Regiment,  the 
previous  winter.  Here  the  brigade  was  strength- 
ened by  the  addition  of  the  20th  Maine  regiment, 
as  fine  a  regiment  as  ever  appeared  on  a  field,  and 
moving  across  into  Maryland,  passed  up  via  Fred- 
erick City  and  across  South  Mountain  to  the  vicinity 


of  Sharpsburgh,   and  on  the    17th   of  September 
participated  in  the  battle  of  Antietam. 

Lee  had  crossed  the  Potomac  into  Maryland  with 
a  portion  of  his  army,  leaving  the  remainder  of  it 
on  the  south  side  menaced  by  a  considerable  force 
under  General  Miles  at  Harper's  Ferry.  The 
obvious  intent  of  McClellan  was  to  follow  and 
conquer  that  portion  of  Lee's  army  in  Maryland, 
while  it  was  separated  from  its  reenforcements,  and 
then  send  forces  to  the  rescue  of  Harper's  Ferry, 
before  the  rebels  on  that  side  of  the  river  should 
compel  its  surrender  and  evacuation.  But  delays 
thwarted  this  object.  After  two  severe  battles  in 
the  passes  of  South  Mountain,  Lee's  army  in  Mary- 
land reached  Antietam,  where  the  most  advantage- 
ous position  was  selected.  Harper's  Ferry  fell,  and 
the  whole  of  Lee's  army  was  soon  on  the  ground 
at  Antietam,  making  it  necessary  for  McClellan  to 
fight  the  entire  rebel  army  at  that  point,  strength- 
ened and  elated  by  their  success  at  Harper's  Ferry. 

When  our  army  advanced  in  sight  of  Antietam, 
the  whole  rebel  force  was  there,  save  A.  P.  Hill's 
division.  "  The  regiments  and  brigades,  hitherto 
so  ostentatiously  paraded,  seemed  to  have  sunk  into 
the  earth  ;  and  nothing  but  grim  and  frowning 
batteries  were  seen  covering  each  hill-crest,  and 
trained  on  every  stretch  of  open  ground  whereby 
our  soldiers  might  attempt  to  scale  those  rugged 
steeps." 

"  The  struggle  was  inaugurated  on  the  afternoon 
of  the  i6th."  On  the  17th  the  great  battle  was 
fought,  the  details  of  which  we  cannot  enter  into 
here,  save  so  far  as  to  indicate  the  position  of  the 
1 2th  Regiment.  Porter's  Corps  was  in  our  center, 
holding  the  road  from  Sharpsburg  to  Middletown 
and  Boonsborough,  and  remained  unengaged  east 
of  the  Antietam  Creek  till  late  in  the  afternoon  ; 
two  brigades  of  it  were  then  sent  to  support  our 
right  ;  six  battalions  of  Sykes's  regulars  were 
thrown  across  the  bridge  on  the  main  road,  to  drive 
off  the  rebel  sharp-shooters,  who  were  annoying 
Pleasanton's  horse-batteries  at  that  point ;  War- 
ren's brigade  was  detached  and  sent  to  the  right  and 
rear  of  Burnside,  leaving  with  Porter  only  about 
3,000  men.  Burnside's  corps  held  our  extreme 
left,  opposite  the  lowest  of  the  three  bridges  cross- 
ing the  Antietam.  At  i  p.  m.,  he  charged  with 
the  51st  New  York  and  51st  Pennsylvania,  and 
took  the  bridge.  At  3  p.  m.,  under  peremptory  or- 
ders, he  charged  up  the  heights,  carrying  them 
handsomely,  some  of  his  troops  reaching  even  the 
outskirts  of  Sharpsburg.  But  now,  just  as  victory 
seemed  about  to  smile  upon  our  arms,  A.  P.  Hill's 
division    (which   had  been  ordered  from  Harper's 


100 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


Ferry  that  morning,  and  had  started  at  half-past  7 
o'clock  I  came  upon  the  field,  and  covered  by  a 
heavy  fire  of  artillery  charged  our  extreme  left, 
which  during  the  day  had  sustained  repeated 
charges  of  the  enemy,  and  drove  it  back  in  great 
confusion.  Gen.  Rodman,  who  commanded  our 
left,  fell  mortally  wounded.  The  enemy  rallied 
with  great  spirit,  redoubled  their  fire  of  artillery, 
charged  in  front  and  flank,  and  drove  our  men  in 
confusion  down  the  hill  toward  Antietam,  pursuing 
till  checked  by  the  fire  of  our  batteries  across  the 
creek.  Our  reserves,  on  the  left  bank,  now  ad- 
vanced and  our  batteries  redoubled  their  fire.  The 
rebels  wisely  desisted  without  attempting  to  carry 
the  bridge  and  retired  to  their  lines  on  the  heights, 
as  darkness  put  an  end  to  the  fray.  "  Thus  closed, 
indecisively,  the  bloodiest  day  America  ever  saw." 

In  killed  and  wounded,  according  to  their  own 
report,  the  enemy  lost  13,533  "^d  '"  ^'^'^  engage- 
ment. McClcllan  makes  his  entire  loss  in  this  bat- 
tle to  consist  of  12,469  men.  Speaking  of  the  whole 
series  of  engagements  in  Maryland,  he  reports,  13 
guns,  39  colors,  upwards  of  15,000  stand  of  small 
arms,  and  more  than  6,000  prisoners,  as  the  trophies 
which  attested  the  success  of  our  arms  in  the  battles 
of  South  Mountain,  Crampton's  Gap,  and  Antietam. 
Not  a  single  gun  or  color  was  lost  by  our  army 
during  these  battles. 

On  the  19th  of  September,  our  division  was 
ordered  across  the  river  at  the  Shcphcrdstown  Ford, 
where  they  met  the  enemy  and  were  driven  back, 
taking  shelter  in  the  canal  from  which  the  water  had 
been  drawn  ofli",  and  which  afforded  an  e.\cellent 
breastwork  already  constructed  to  our  hand.  After 
the  short  engagement  here,  our  brigade  was  ordered 
to  the  Antietam  Iron  Works,  to  guard  the  ford 
across  the  river  ;  Companies  E  and  G,  of  the  12th 
Regimentbeing  detailed  as  Provost  Guard  of  Sharps- 
burg,  under  Lieut.  Estes  of  Company  G,  as  Provost 
Marshal.  William  P.  Cobbitt  was  here  killed  by  the 
accidental  bursting  of  a  shell  picked  up  on  the 
Antietam  battle-field. 

From  Sharpsburg,  or  the  Antietam  Iron  Works, 
our  regiment  was  removed  to  Stoncman's  Switch 
on  the  Fredericksburg  and  Aquia  Creek  Railroad, 
about  four  miles  from  Fredericksburg,  and  remained 
till  December  13th,  1862,  the  day  on  which  Burn- 
side  made  his  memorable,  but  fatal  attempt  to  cross 
and  storm  the  fortified  heights  of  Fredericksburg. 
Pontoon  bridges  had  been  laid  across  the  Rappa- 
hannock to  effect  this  object.  Lee,  with  an  army 
fully  80,000  strong,  was  stretched  along  and  behind 
the  southern  bluffs  of  the  Rappahannock  from  a 
point  a  mile  or  so  above  Fredericksburg  to  one  four 


or  five  miles  below.  These  heights  were  girdleu 
with  batteries  rising  tier  above  tier  to  their  crest, 
all  carefully  trained  upon  the  approaches  from  Fred- 
ericksburg, while  a  fatal  stone  wall,  so  strong  that 
no  artillery  could  make  an  impression  upon  it.  shel- 
tered a  brigade  of  the  enemy  in  the  very  front  of 
the  storming  column.  Against  such  impregnable 
defences  our  brave  soldiers  were  thrown  across  to 
meet  their  fate.  Braver  men  never  smiled  at  death 
than  those  who  climbed  Marye's  Hill  that  fatal  day  ; 
their  ranks  plowed  through  and  torn  to  pieces  by 
rebel  batteries,  even  in  the  process  of  formation  ; 
and  when  at  heavy  cost  they  had  reached  the  foot 
of  the  hill,  they  were  confronted  by  a  solid  stone 
wall,  four  feet  high,  from  behind  which  a  rebel  brig- 
ade of  infantry  mowed  them  down  like  grass. 
Never  did  men  fight  better  or  die,  alas  I  more  fruit- 
lessly, than  did  most  of  Hancock's  corps,  especially 
Meagher's  Irish  brigade,  composed  of  the  63d,  69th 
and  88th  New  York,  the  28th  Massachusetts,  and 
the  nth  Pennsylvania,  which  dashed  itself  repeat- 
edly against  those  impregnable  heights,  until  two- 
thirds  of  its  number  strewed  the  ground  ;  when  the 
remnant  fell  back  to  a  position  of  comparative 
safety,  and  were  succeeded,  as  they  had  been  sup- 
ported, by  other  brigades  and  divisions,  each  to  be 
exposed  in  its  turn  to  like  pitiless,  useless,  hopeless 
slaughter. 

Thus  the  fight  was  maintained  till  after  dark, 
assault  after  assault  being  delivered  by  divisions 
advancing  against  twice  their  numbers,  on  ground 
where  treble  the  force  was  required  for  the  attack 
that  sufficed  for  the  defence,  while  a  hundred  rebel 
cannon  posted  on  heights  which  our  few  guns  on 
that  side  of  the  river  could  not  reach,  swept  our 
men  down  from  the  moment  they  began  to  advance, 
and  where  they  could  do  nothing  but  charge,  fall 
and  die.  Not  to  go  into  details  of  this  terrible  days 
fighting,  we  may  say  here  that  our  loss  was  not  less 
than  15,000  to  that  of  the  rebels  5,000,  killed, 
wounded  and  taken  prisoners.  Night  mercifully 
closed  the  scene  of  carnage. 

Throughout  the  14th  and  15th  the  two  armies 
stood  facing  each  other,  Lee  strengthening  his 
defenses  and  awaiting  a  renewal  of  the  attack.  He 
was  probably  aware  that  such  was  Burnside's  inten- 
tion, from  which,  however,  he  was  finally  dissuaded, 
and  decided  to  rccross  his  entire  army  on  the  night 
of  the  I5lh.  Only  a  few  pickets  and  some  ammuni- 
tion were  left  in  Fredericksburg,  and  '*  not  a  gun 
was  abandoned  as  a  trophy  of  this  ill-starred 
advance  on  Richmond."  Our  pontoons  were  all 
taken  up  and  brought  off.  The  I2th  Regiment  lost 
heavily,  among  others,  several  commissioned  officers 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


lOI 


The  regiment  lay  all  night  the  day  of  the  battle 
and  the  next  day  among  the  dead  and  wounded, 
after  the  cessation  of  the  battle  of  the  13th,  no 
movement  being  made  in  the  army  whereby  they 
could  get  out  of  their  position.  On  the  retreat 
they  were  the  last  to  reach  the  pontoon  bridge,  and 
were  upon  it  as  it  was  cut  loose  from  the  Fredericks- 
burg shore  by  our  engineers. 

After  the  retreat  from  Fredericksburg,  our  regi- 
ment went  back  to  its  old  camp  at  Stoneman's 
Switch,  and  on  the  27th  of  April,  1863,  at  the  time 
of  the  advance  of  Hooker  on  Chancellorsville,  or- 
ders came  for  them  to  return  to  Elmira  and  be  mus- 
tered out  of  the  service.  Being  two  years  men, 
their  time  had  expired.  The  three  years  men  from 
New  York  City,  formerly  consolidated  with  the  12th 
Regiment,  were  organized  into  five  companies 
forming  a  separate  battalion  under  Col.  Henry  A. 
Weeks,  and  remained  in  the  service.  The  12th 
Regiment  reached  Elmira  in  a  few  days,  and  were 
mustered  out  on  the  17th  of  May,  1S63. 

Official  Record  of  the  I2th  Regiment. 

The  following  is  the  official  list  and  line  of  pro- 
motions of  the  1 2th  Regiment  : 

Ezra  L.  Walrath,  Colonel,  rank  from  May  7, 
1861,  resigned  September  26,  1861  ;  George  W. 
Snyder,  Colonel,  commissioned  October  i,  1S61, 
declined  ;  Henry  A.  Weeks,  Colonel,  rank  from 
February  3,  1862,  mustered  out  on  expiration  of 
term  of  service  ;  Benjamin  A.  Willis,  Colonel,  com- 
missioned February  27,  1864,  "ot  mustered  ;  James 
L.  Graham,  Lieutenant-Colonel,  rank  from  May  7, 
1861,  resigned  June  19,  1S61  ;  Robert  M.  Rich- 
ardson, Lieutenant-Colonel,  rank  from  June  19, 1861, 
resigned  February  6,  1863 ;  Augustus  J.  Root, 
Major,  rank  from  September  22,  1862,  promoted  to 
Lieutenant-Colonel,  February  13,  1863,  mustered 
out  on  expiration  of  term  of  service.  May  17,  1863  ; 
John  Lewis,  Major,  rank  from  May  7,  1861,  killed 
by  fall  from  his  horse,  October  21,  1861  ;  Henry  A. 
Barnum,  Major,  rank  from  October  25,  1861,  pro- 
moted to  Colonel  149th  N.  Y.  Vols.,  September  22, 
1862  ;  Henry  W.  Rider,  Captain,  rank  from  Febru- 
ary 3,  1862,  promoted  to  Major,  February  27,  1864  ; 
Silas  Titus,  Adjutant,  rank  from  May  13,  1861, 
promoted  to  Colonel  I22d  N.  Y.  Volunteers,  Au- 
gust 28,  1862  ;  George  F.  Watson,  Adjutant,  rank 
from  February  3,  1862,  mustered  out  at  expi- 
ration of  term  of  service.  May  17,  1S63  ;  Edmund 
B.  Griswold,  Quartermaster,  rank  from  May  13, 
1861,  resigned  September  6,  1861  ;  Porter  R. 
Alger,  1st  Lieutenant  rank  from  September  21, 
1 86 1,  promoted  to  Quartermaster  February  27, 1862, 
brevet  Major  N.  Y.  Vols.,  mustered  out  on  expiration 
of  term  of  service.  May  17,  1863  ;  Roger  W.  Pease, 
Surgeon,  rank  from  May  7,  1861,  resigned  August 
28,  1861  ;  Azariah  B.  Shipman,  Surgeon,  rank  from 
September  13,  1861,  resigned  May  23,  1S62  ;  Chas. 
L.  Hubbell,  Surgeon,  rank  from  April  2,  1862,  dis- 


charged August  s,  1862;  Chas.  C.  Murphy,  Sur- 
geon, rank  from  December  31,  1862,  mustered  out 
at  expiration  of  term  of  service.  May  17,  1S63 ; 
George  B.  Todd,  Assistant  Surgeon,  rank  from  May 
7,  1 86 1,  resigned  October  7,  1S62  ;  John  L.  Eddy, 
Assistant  Surgeon,  rank  from  November  3,  1862, 
mustered  out  at  expiration  of  term  of  service.  May 
17,  1863  ;  George  V.  Skift".  Assistant  Surgeon,  rank 
from  August  22,  1862,  mustered  out  at  expiration 
of  term  of  service,  May  17,  1863  ;  C.  S.  Percival, 
Chaplain,  resigned  October  20,  1861  ;  Henry  P. 
Barton,  Chaplain,  rank  from  October  21,  1861,  re- 
signed April  20,  1862  ;  Morris  H.  Church,  Captain, 
rank  from  May  i,  1861,  resigned  September  21, 
1861  ;  Ira  Wood,  Captain,  rank  from  September  21, 
1861,  resigned  October  14,  1862;  Thomas  H. 
Behan,  Captain,  rank  from  October  16,  1862, 
mustered  out  at  expiration  of  term  of  service, 
May  17,  1863;  Jacob  Brand,  Captain,  rank  from 
May  I,  1861,  resigned  October  25,  1861  ; 
William  Huson,  Captain,  rank  from  February  3, 
1S62,  mustered  out  on  expiration  of  term  of  ser- 
vice. May  17,  1863  ;  Dennis  Driscoll,  Jr.,  Cap- 
tain, rank  from  May  i,  1861,  discharged  February 
3,  1862 ;  William  Fowler,  Captain,  rank  from 
February  3,  1862,  discharged  February  3,  1863  ; 
George  W.  Stone,  Captain,  rank  from  May  i,  1861, 
resigned  July  9,  1S61  ;  William  H.  Hoagland,  Cap- 
tain, rank  from  February  3,  1862,  killed  in  action 
at  Fredericksburg,  Va.,  December  13,1862  ;  James 
A.  Bates,  Captain,  rank  from  December  14,  1862, 
discharged  April  11,  1864;  Joseph  Hilton,  Cap- 
tain, rank  from  April  11,  1S64,  not  mustered; 
J.  M.  Brower,  Captain,  rank  from  May  i,  1861,  dis- 
charged Febuary  3,  1862  ;  Paul  A.  Oliver,  2d  Lieu- 
tenant, rank  from  February  3,  1862,  promoted  to 
1st  Lieutenant,  May  30,  1S62,  to  Captain,  April  4, 
1864,  transferred  to  5th  Regiment,  N.  Y.  Vols., 
June  2,  1864;  Milo  W.  Locke,  Captain,  rank  from 
May  I,  1861,  resigned  November  14,  1S61  ;  James 
Cromie,  Captain,  rank  from  February  3,  1862,  dis- 
charged April  7,  1863  ;  Joseph  C.  Irish,  Captain, 
rank  from  May  i,  1861,  resigned  September  3, 
1861  ;  Charles  B.  Randall,  2d  Lieutenant,  rank 
from  May,  1861,  promoted  to  Captain,  September 
25,  1861  ;  mustered  out  at  the  expiration  of  term 
of  service,  May  17,  1863  ;  George  W.  Cole,  Cap- 
tain, rank  from  May  i,  1861,  transferred  to  3d  N.  Y. 
Cavalry,  September  20,  1861  ;  George  Truesdell,  1st 
Lieutenant,  rank  from  May  13,  1861,  promoted  to 
Captain  October  20,  1861,  resigned  December  2, 
1862;  Michael  Auer,  2d  Lieutenant,  rank  from 
February  22,  1862,  promoted  to  ist  Lieutenant, 
December  i,  1862,  mustered  out  on  expira- 
tion of  term  of  service,  May  17,  1863  ;  Peter 
Strauss,  ist  Lieutenant,  rank  from  May  r, 
1861,  promoted  to  Captain,  December  26,  1862, 
mustered  out  on  expiration  of  service,  May  17,  1863  ; 
Henry  A.  Barnum,  Captain,  rank  from  May  i,  1861, 
promoted  to  Major,  October  29,  1861,  promoted  to 
Colonel  of  149th  N.  Y.  Vols.,  September  22,  1S62; 
Hamilton  R.  Combs,  ist  Lieutenant,  rank  from 
May  I,  1861,  promoted  to  Captain  November  11, 
1861,  resigned  October  27,  1862  ;  Edward  Drake, 
1st  Lieutenant,  rank  from  October  i,  1861,  promoted 


102 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


to  Captain,  December  i,  1862,  Brevet  Major,  N.  Y. 
Vols.,  mustered  out  at  expiration  of  term  of  service, 
May  17,  1863  ;  Cortland  Clark,  ist  Lieutenant, 
rank  from  October  16,  1862,  mustered  out  on  expi- 
ration of  term  of  ser\icc.  May  17,  18G3  ;  James  A. 
Boyle,  1st  Lieutenant,  rank  from  February  3,  1862, 
mustered  out  on  expiration  of  term  of  service, 
May  17,  1863  ;  James  Randall,  ist  Lieutenant,  rank 
from  May  i,  1 861,  discharged  February  3,  1862; 
Richard  J.  Clark,  ist  Lieutenant,  rank  from  Febru- 
ary 3,  1S62,  mustered  out  on  expiration  of  term  of 
ser\'ice.  May  17,  1863  ;  Lucius  C.  Storrs,  ist  Lieu- 
tenant, rank  from  May  i,  1861,  resigned  October  23, 
1861 ;  Henry  C.  Burton,  ist  Lieutenant,  rank  from 
Feb.  3,  1862,  killed  in  action  June  27,  1862  ;  VVm. 
P.  Walton,  2d  Lieutenant,  rank  from  Feb.  3,  1862, 
promoted  to  ist  Lieutenant,  Oct.  29,  1862,  dis- 
charged Sept.  26,  1863  ;  Joseph  Hilton,  2d  Lieuten- 
ant,rank  from  June  20,  1862, promoted  to  ist  Lieu- 
tenant December  26,  1862,  transferred  to  5th  N.  Y. 
Vols., June  2,  1864  ;  Frederick  Homer,  ist  Lieuten- 
ant, rank  from  May  i,  1861,  resigned  July  30,  1861  ; 
Samuel  J.  Abbott.  2d  Lieutenant,  rank  from  May 
I,   1861,  promoted  to  ist   Lieutenant  August   27, 

1 86 1,  resigned  September  20,  1861  ;  William  F. 
Gardner,   ist  Lieutenant,   rank  from    February    3, 

1862,  resigned  May  18,  18G2;  William  Glcason,  ist 
Lieutenant,  rank  from  May  i,  1 861,  discharged  Feb- 
ruary 3,  1S62;  James  A.  Bates,  ist  Lieutenant, 
rank  from  February  3,  1862,  promoted  to  Captain 
December  26,  18G2,  discharged  April  11,  1S64; 
Henry  A.  Downing,  2d  Lieutenant,  rank  from  Feb- 
ruary 3,  1862,  promoted  to  ist  Lieutenant  Decem- 
ber 26,  1862  ;  John  H.  Johnson,  ist  Lieutenant, 
rank  from  May  i,  1861,  resigned  October  10,  1861  ; 
Stephen  A.  Estes,  ist  Lieutenant,  rank  from  Sep- 
tember 21,  1861,  promoted  to  Cai^tain  October  30, 
1862;  Oliver  T.  May,  2d  Lieutenant,  rank  from 
March  20,  1862,  promoted  to  ist  Lieutenant  October 
30.  1862,  to  Captain  149th  regiment,  March  26, 
1863  ;  Edward  Pointer,  ist  Lieutenant,  rank  from 
May  I,  1S61,  not  mustered  ;  Thomas  Gaffney,  ist 
Lieutenant,  rank  from  September  i,  1861,  re- 
signed October  23,  18G2;  John  P.  Stanton,  2d 
Lieutenant,  rank  from  May  i,  1861,  promoted 
to  1st  Lieutenant  December  26,  1862,  resigned 
April  15,  1863  ;  William  P.  Town,  ist  Lieutenant, 
rank  from  May  1,  1861,  resigned  August  G,  18G1  ; 
William  G.  Tracy,  ist  Lieutenant,  rank  from  August 
6,  1 86 1,  discharged  February  3,  18G2  ;  S.  Dexter 
Ludden,  2d   Lieutenant,  rank  from    September  3, 

1861,  promoted  to   ist  Lieutenant  November  10, 

1862,  mustered  out  on  expiration  of  term  of  service, 
May  17,  1863  ;  William  S.  Woods,  2d  Lieutenant, 
rank  from  June  27,  18G2,  promoted  to  ist  Lieuten- 
ant April  29,  18G4,  transferred  to  the  5th  N.  Y. 
Vols.,  June  2,  1864;  George  W.  Cartwright,  1st 
Lieutenant,  resigned  November  5,  1861  ;  Ulysses 
D.  Eddy,  2d  Lieutenant,  rank  from  September  20, 
1 86 1,  discharged  March  17,  18G2  ;  Abraham  Fred- 
dendall,  2d  Lieutenant,  rank  from  March  17,  1S62, 
resigned  October  13,  18G2;  Abram  Farnie,  2d 
Lieutenant,  rank  from  October  13,  1SG2,  mustered 
out  on  expiration  of  term  of  service.  May  17,  18G3  ; 
John  P.  Spanier,  2d  Lieutenant,  rank  from  May  i, 


1861,  resigned  December  27,  1861  ;  Charles  E. 
Gould,  2d  Lieutenant,  rank  from  February  3,  1862, 
resigned  October  13,  1862  ;  John  M.  Scannell.  2d 
Lieutenant,  rank  from  October  13,  1862,  resigned 
April  13.  1863  ;  Robert  J.  Ellis,  2d  Lieutenant,  rank 
from  April  11,  1863,  not  mustered;  Ellis  Smith, 
2d  Lieutenant,  rank  from  February  3,  1862,  resigned 
November  4,  18G2;  Christopher  Eddie,  2d  Lieu- 
tenant, rank  from  November  5,  1862,  mustered  out 
at  the  expiration  of  term  of  service.  May  17,  1863  ; 
George  Snyder,  2d  Lieutenant,  rank  from  May  i, 
1861,  resigned  October  25,  1861  ;  I'rank  W.  Clock, 
2d  Lieutenant,  rank  from  September  21,  1861,  re- 
signed March  19,  1862;  Edward  M.  Fisher,  2d 
Lieutenant,  rank  from  May  17,  1862. killed  inaction 
at  the  Chickahominy  June  27,  1862;  Stephen  D. 
Clark,  2d  Lieutenant,  rank  from  May  i,  1861,  dis- 
charged I'cbruary  3,  1862  ;  John  L.  Mease,  2d 
Lieutenant,  rank  from  December  14,  1862,  dis- 
missed November  17,  1863;  William  Thompson, 
2d  Lieutenant,  rank  from  November  20,  1863, 
transferred  to  the  5th  N.  Y.  Vols.  June  2,  1864  ; 
Erskinc  P.  Woodford,  2d  Lieutenant,  rank  from 
May  I,  18G1,  resigned  December  i,  iSGi  ;  Fred- 
erick O.  Waters,  2d  Lieutenant,  rank  from  Septem- 
ber 22,  1862,  mustered  out  on  the  expiration  of 
term  of  service  May  17,  1863  ;  Charles  S.  Coon,  2d 
Lieutenant,  rank  from  October  20,  1 861,  discharged 
February  3,  18G2;  George  Boitcau,  2d  Lieutenant, 
rank  from  December  3,  1862,  mustered  out  on  expi- 
ration of  term  of  service,  May  17,  1863  ;  Andrew 
Urmy,  2d  Lieutenant,  rank  from  October  22,  1861, 
resigned  February  22,  1862;  Dexter  Smith,  2d 
Lieutenant,  rank  from  October  27,  1862,  mustered 
out  on  expiration  of  term  of  service.  May  17,  1863  ; 
Lucius  Smith,  2d  Lieutenant,  rank  from  May  i, 
1 86 1,  resigned  September  3,  1S61  ;  John  B.  P'oote, 
2d  Lieutenant,  rank  from  October  22,  1862, 
mustered  out  on  expiration  of  term  of  service.  May 
17,  1863  ;  Gustavus  Webber,  2d  Lieutenant,  rank 
from  December  18,  18G2,  resigned  February  2, 
18G3  ;  John  Corncy,  2d  Lieutenant,  rank  from 
January  28,  1863,  mustered  out  on  expiration  of 
service,  May  17,  1863. 

Regimental  Flag  of  the  Twelfth  New  York. 

In  the  list  of  regimental  flags  presented  to  Gov. 
Fcnton  at  Albany,  we  find  the  following  memorial 
of  the  colors  of  the  12th  Regiment: 

"  I  National  Flag,  silk.  Presented  to  the  regiment 
by  the  ladies  of  Syracuse,  May  2,  1861,  and  carried 
by  the  regiment  through  every  service  in  which  it 
was  engaged. 

"  The  regiment  was  organized  at  Syracuse  in  the 
spring  of  1861.  It  was  engaged  in  the  battle  of 
Blackburn's  Ford,  and  at  ist  Bull  Run  was  in  the 
reserve.  After  spending  several  months  in  building 
and  grading  forts  in  front  of  Washington,  it  was  sent 
to  the  Peninsula,  and  was  subsequently  engaged  in 
the  seige  of  Yorktown  and  in  the  battles  of  Hanover 
Court  House,  Gaines's  Mill,  Savage's  Station,  White 
Oak  Swamp,  Malvern  Hill,  2d  Bull  Run  and  ist 
Fredericksburg.     It  returned   to  the  State  in  the 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


103 


spring  of   1863,  at  the  expiration  of  its   term   of 
service." 

Represented  at  the  presentation  by  Col.  Henry 
A.  Weeks. 

The  One  Hundred  and  First  Regiment  New 
York  Volunteers  was  raised  in  the  Counties  of 
Onondaga,  New  York  and  Delaware.  It  was  or- 
ganized at  Hancock,  N.  Y.,  to  serve  for  three  years, 
and  was  mustered  into  the  United  States  service 
from  September  2,  1861,  to  February  28,  1862.  It 
was  consolidated  with  the  37th  New  York  Volun- 
teers, December  24,  1862,  and  the  officers  mustered 
out  of  service. 

The  officers  of  this  regiment  from  Onondaga 
County  were  Lieutenant  Colonel  Johnson  B. 
Brown,  discharged  November  7,  1862  ;  Captain 
Gustavus  Sniper,  of  Company  C,  promoted  to 
Major  on  the  organization  of  the  regiment  at  Han- 
cock, promoted  to  Lieutenant-Colonel  November 
29,  1862,  and  mustered  out  at  the  consolidation, 
December  24,  1862  ;  Assistant-Surgeon  David  B. 
Van  Slycke,  promoted  to  Surgeon,  October  23, 1862, 
and  mustered  out  December  24,  1862  ;  Captain 
James  F.  O'Neil,  rank  from  October  i,  1861,  dis- 
charged May  31,  1862;  Captain  George  W.  Her- 
rick,  rank  from  March  31,  1862,  discharged  Febru- 
ary 22,  1862  ;  Captain  Peter  Ohneth  {Brevet-Major 
N.  Y.  V.,)  rank  as  Captain  November  24,  1861, 
mustered  out  December  24,  1862  ;  Captain  Peter 
McLennon,  rank  from  December  5,  1861,  mustered 
out  December  24,  1862  ;  ist  Lieutenant  Orrin  F. 
Plumb,  rank  from  November  14,  1861,  mustered 
out  December  24,  1862  ;  ist  Lieutenant  James  H. 
Bradt,  rank  from  October  25,  1861,  promoted  to 
Captain  October  29,  1862  ;  ist  Lieutenant  Thomas 
K.  Brown,  rank  from  October  22,  1861,  mustered 
out  December  24,  1862  ;  ist  Lieutenant  Monroe  C. 
Worden,  rank  from  October  7,  1861,  died  at  Wash- 
ington, D.  C,  April  25,  1862  ;  ist  Lieutenant  Wil- 
liam Noble,  rank  from  November  16,  1862,  not 
mustered  ;  ist  Lieutenant  Orlando  J.  Rowe,  on 
records  of  War  Department,  not  commissioned, 
resigned  January  31,  1862;  2d  Lieutenant  William 
H.  Warner,  rank  from  December  i,  1861,  promoted 
to  1st  Lieutenant  October  29,  1862,  mustered  out 
at  the  consolidation,  December  24,  1862  ;  2d  Lieu- 
tenant Silas  H.  Hinds,  rank  from  June,  1862,  mus- 
tered out  December  24,  1862  ;  2d  Lieutenant  Adam 
Listman,  rank  from  November  24,  1861,  resigned 
July  24,  1862;  2d  Lieutenant  George  Pfohl,  rank 
from  July  25,  1862,  mustered  out  December  24, 
1862  ;  2d  Lieutenant  Henry  D.  Ford,  rank  from 
December  15,  1861,  promoted  ist  Lieutenant  Oct.  3, 
1862,  mustered  out  December  24,  1862  ;  2d  Lieu- 


tenant George  B.  French,  rank  from  September  9, 
1863,  not  mustered  ;  Amos  M.  Scranton,  on  records 
of  War  Department,  not  mustered,  discharged  Feb- 
ruary 22,  1862. 

In  the  catalogue  of  flags  presented  to  Governor 
Fenton  at  Albany  after  the  war,  we  find  this  men- 
tion of  the  colors  of  the  loist  Regiment : 

"I  National  Flag,  silk,  with  original  staff.  This 
flag  was  presented  to  the  regiment  by  the  Union 
Defence  Committee  of  New  York  City.  It  was 
borne  in  the  battles  of  Seven  Pines,  (May  31  and 
June  I)  Peach  Orchard,  Savage's  Station,  Chicka- 
hominy,  White  Oak  Swamp,  Charles  City  Cross 
Roads,  Malvern  Hill,  Groveton,  Second  Bull  Run, 
Chantilly  and  Fredericksburg." 

The  regiment  was  sent  forward  from  Hancock, 
N.  Y.,  to  Washington  in  March,  1862,  and  was  for 
some  time  on  duty  in  and  about  Washington.  It 
was  also  engaged  in  garrison  duty  for  some  time  at 
Fort  Lyons,  seven  miles  south  of  Alexandria.  Be- 
fore engaging  in  the  first  of  the  series  of  battles 
above  enumerated,  it  was  organized  as  part  of  Bir- 
ney's  brigade,  Kearney's  division  and  Heintzelman's 
corps,  and  arrived  at  Fair  Oaks  just  at  the  close  of 
the  battle.  The  regiment  was  one  of  the  best  in 
the  service.  It  received  a  high  compliment  for  its 
gallantry  from  Gen.  Kearney  the  night  before  he 
was  killed  at  Chantilly.  In  his  report  after  the  bat- 
tle of  Fredericksburg,  Brig.-Gen.  Berry  said  :  "  I 
have  also  to  mention  the  good  conduct  of  the 
loist  New  York  Volunteers,  Col.  Chester  com- 
manding. They  nobly  performed  their  duty  dur- 
ing the  fight  ;  also  as  pickets  on  the  night  of  the 
retreat.  This  regiment,  though  small  in  numbers, 
did  good  service,  and  its  conduct,  together  with 
that  of  all  its  officers,  was  unexceptionable." 


CHAPTER  XXIV. 

The  One  Hundred  and  Twenty-Second  New 
York  Volunteers —  Organization  —  March 
TO  THE  Front  —  South  Mountain  —  An- 
tietam. 

THE  I22d  Regiment  New  York  Volunteer  In- 
fantry was  one  of  the  regiments  furnished  by 
the  State  under  the  call  of  the  President  for  300,000 
men  in  the  summer  of  1862.  The  war  for  the  sup- 
pression of  the  Rebellion  was  just  beginning  to 
develop  the  magnitude  of  its  proportions,  and  to 
show  that  the  North  must  put  forth  its  manly  energy 
in  good  earnest,  if  it  would  save  the  Republic  from 
dismemberment,  anarchy  and  destruction.  The  issue 
of  the  struggle  upon  the  Peninsula  for  the  capture 
of  Richmond  was   being   surrounded   with  doubt. 


104 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


when  on  the  1st  of  July,  the  President  called  for 
300,000  additional  troops.  On  the  day  following. 
Governor  Morgan  issued  a  proclamation  of  which 
the  subjoined  is  an  extract : 

"This  appeal  is  to  the  State  of  New  York:  it  is 
to  each  citizen.  Let  it  come  to  every  fireside.  Let 
the  glorious  example  of  the  Revolutionary  period  be 
our  emulation.  Let  each  feel  that  the  Common- 
wealth now  counts  upon  his  individual  strength  and 
influence  to  meet  the  demands  of  the  Government. 

"The  period  has  come  when  all  must  aid.  New 
York  has  not  thus  far  stood  back.  Ready  and  more 
than  willing,  she  has  met  every  summons  to  duty. 
Let  not  her  history  be  falsified  nor  her  position  be 
lowered." 

Three  days  after  the  appearance  of  the  above 
appeal,  there  was  issued  from  the  Adjutant-General's 
office  of  the  State  a  circular  directing  the  division 
of  the  State  into  regimental  districts,  correspond- 
ing to  the  senatorial  districts,  with  a  rendez- 
vous camp  in  each.  At  the  same  time  and  by 
the  same  authority,  a  committee  was  appointed  in 
each  district,  called  the  Senatorial  War  Committee, 
to  whom  was  given  the  general  charge  and  direction 
of  affairs  in  their  district  in  regard  to  the  raising 
and  organization  of  troops. 

In  Onondaga  county,  composing  the  22d  Dis- 
trict, the  following  gentlemen  were  named  as  the 
Committee :  Hon.  Charles  Andrews,  Hon.  Grove 
Lawrence,  Hon.  Dennis  McCarthy,  Hon.  Elias  W. 
Leavenworth,  Hamilton  White,  Esq.,  Hon.  Austin 
Myres,  Hon.  Thomas  G.  Alvord,  L.  W.  Hall,  Esq., 
Hon.  Thomas  T.  Davis  and  Col.  J.  Dean  Hawley. 

On  the  I5lh  of  July,  1862,  the  above  committee 
held  a  meeting  and  organized  by  the  election  of 
Hon.  Charles  Andrews,  President,  and  L.  W.  Hall, 
Esq.,  Secretary. 

A  resolution  was  passed  requesting  the  inhabit- 
ants of  the  various  towns  of  the  county  to  appoint 
a  committee  of  three  in  each  town  to  act  in  con- 
junction with  them.  Also  a  resolution  was  passed 
requesting  the  Governor  of  the  State  to  call  an 
extra  session  of  the  Legislature  forthwith,  to  insure 
uniform  action  as  regards  the  bounty  to  be  offered 
volunteers.  The  committee  resolved  to  hold  a  ses- 
sion every  evening  at  the  Mayor's  office  in  the  City 
Hall,  at  half  past  seven  o'clock,  until  further  notice. 

At  this  time  the  expedition  against  Richmond 
had  failed.  Pope's  army,  by  his  bold  advance  to 
cooperate  with  McClellan,  was  imperiled,  and  was 
being  driven  back,  though  not  without  able  and  gal- 
lant resistance,  to  the  defences  of  Washington  ; 
while  the  pco|)le  were  looking  anxiously  to  see 
whether  the  foiled,  yet  powerful.  Army  of  the  Poto- 
mac, would  be  brought  up  in  time  to  his  assistance, 
or  whether  he  would  be  able  to  fight  his  way  back 


with  what  means  he  had  within  his  reach.  All 
clearly  perceived  that  it  was  only  a  question  of  time 
whether  our  armies  already  in  the  field  would  be 
able  to  maintain  a  successful  defensive  until  the 
reenforcements  which  the  great  loyal  North  were 
preparing  and  sending  forward,  in  response  to  the 
call  of  the  President,  could  reach  the  front. 

It  was  under  such  circumstances  as  these  that 
the  War  Committee,  in  the  summer  of  i862,"called 
upon  the  people  of  Onondaga  for  further  enlist- 
ments. The  first  response  under  this  call  was  the 
I22d  Regiment,  N.  Y.  V.  I.  It  was  raised  in  one 
month,  enlistments  fairly  commencing  on  the  20th 
of  July  and  the  rolls  closing  on  the  20th  of  August. 

The  first  Company  (A)  was  filled  at  Baldwins- 
ville,  from  the  towns  of  Lysander  and  Van  Buren, 
August  6,  with  Joshua  B.  Davis,  Captain  ;  Alonzo 
H.  Clapp,  1st  Lieutenant:  and  Herbert  S.  Wells, 
2d  Lieutenant.  Captain  Davis  was  promoted  to 
Major,  August  16,  1862,  and  was  succeeded  in  the 
command  of  the  company  by  J.  M.  Brower,  form- 
erly a  Captain  in  the  12th  Regiment,  N.  Y.  V. 

Company  B  was  filled  August  14,  from  the 
city  of  Syracuse  and  the  towns  of  Geddes,  Cicero 
and  Clay,  with  Webster  R.  Chamberlain,  Captain  ; 
Charles  G.  Nye,  ist  Lieutenant,  and  William  J. 
Webb,  2d  Lieutenant. 

Company  C  was  organized  from  the  towns  of 
Manlius  and  DeWitt,  at  Fayetteville,  August  14, 
with  Alfred  Nims,  Captain  ;  Joseph  E.  Cameron, 
1st  Lieutenant,  and  Arthur  J.  Mead,  2d  Lieu- 
tenant. 

Company  D,  from  the  towns  of  Onondaga,  Spaf- 
ford,  Otisco  and  the  city  of  Syracuse,  was  organized 
August  14,  with  Cornell  Chrysler,  Captain  ;  Davis 
Cossitt,  1st  Lieutenant,  and  Edward  P.  Luther,  2d 
Lieutenant. 

Company  E  was  organized  in  the  city  of  Syra- 
cuse, August  15,  with  Augustus  W.  Dwight,  as 
Captain  ;  Horace  H.  Walpole,  1st  Lieutenant,  and 
Henry  H.  Hoyt,  2d  Lieutenant.  On  the  22d  of 
of  August,  Captain  A.  W.  Dwight  was  promoted  to 
the  Lieut. -Colonelcy  of  the  regiment,  ist  Lieuten- 
ant, Horace  H.  Walpole,  was  promoted  to  Captain 
of  Company  E,  and  Jacob  Brand  was  appointed  1st 
Lieutenant,  vice  Walpole,  promoted. 

Company  F  was  mainly  from  the  town  of  Mar- 
cellus,  and  was  organized  August  15,  with  Lucius 
Moses,  Captain  ;  George  W.  Piatt,  ist  Lieutenant, 
and  James  Burton,  2d  Lieutenant. 

Company  G,  from  the  town  of  Elbridge,  was  or- 
ganized August  15,  Harrison  H.  Jilson,  Captain; 
Drayton  Eno,  ist  Lieutenant,  and  Peter  A.  Blossom, 
2d  Lieutenant. 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


105 


Company  H,  mainly  from  the  town  of  Camillus, 
organized  August  15th,  James  M.  Gere,  Captain; 
Morton  L.  Marks,  ist  Lieutenant,  and  Oscar  F. 
Swift,  2d  Lieutenant. 

Company  I,  from  Syracuse  and  Salina,  chiefly, 
organized  August  16,  John  M.  Dvvight,  Captain ; 
Morris  H.  Church,  ist  Lieutenant,  and  Lucius  A. 
Dillingham,  2d  Lieutenant. 

Company  K,  chiefly  from  the  towns  of  Tully  and 
Skaneateles  and  the  city  of  Syracuse,  organized 
August  19,  Noah  B.  Kent,  Captain  ;  Justin  Howard, 
1st  Lieutenant,  and  Frank  M.  Wooster,  2d  Lieu- 
tenant. 

The  organization  was  completed  and  the  regiment 
mustered  into  the  United  States  service,  at  Syra- 
cuse, August  28,  1862,  with  the  following  field  and 
staff  officers,  viz  : 

Silas  Titus,  Colonel,  rank  from  August  31,  1862  ; 
Augustus  H.  Dvvight,  Lieutenant-Colonel,  rank 
from  August  28,  1862  ;  Joshua  B.  Davis,  Major, 
rank  from  August  28,  1862;  Andrew  J.  Smith, 
Adjutant,  rank  from  July  26,  1862  ;  Fiank  Lester, 
Quartermaster,  rank  from  July  24,  1862  ;  Nathan 
R.  Teft,  Surgeon,  rank  from  July  24,  1862  ;  John 
O.  Slocum,  Assistant  Surgeon,  rank  from  August 
14,  1862  ;  Edwin  A.  Knapp,  2d  Assistant  Surgeon, 
rank  from  August  19,  1862  ;  L.  M.  Nickerson, 
Chaplain,  rank  from  August  28,  1862. 

It  was  expected  that  the  regiment  would  remain 
in  camp  over  Sunday,  and  thus  give  their  many 
friends  an  opportunity  to  visit  them  before  their 
departure  to  the  seat  of  war.  But,  contrary 
to  their  expectations,  it  was  announced  that 
they  would  leave  on  Sunday  morning.  Much 
excitement  was  created  in  camp  and  among  the 
friends  of  the  soldiers  outside.  Before  daylight 
they  began  to  gather  around  the  enclosure  and  at 
sunrise  not  less  than  three  thousand  people  were 
on  the  ground,  pressing  eagerly  to  gain  admittance 
to  their  friends,  while  hundreds  of  the  soldiers  were 
pressing  from  the  inside,  all  anxious  to  get  together 
and  make  their  little  arrangements  and  say  their 
good-byes  before  separating.  It  was  well  that,  on 
such  an  occasion,  military  stringency  should  yield  to 
the  dictates  of  affection  and  friendship,  and  there 
was  time  enough  for  a  visit,  for  three  hours  would 
intervene  before  the  time  for  departure.  This 
view  of  the  case  being  laid  before  Lieutenant- 
Colonel  Dwight,  who  was  the  chief  officer  in  camp 
at  that  time,  permission  was  given  for  the  gates  to 
be  opened  and  the  people  let  in.  As  the  guard  fell 
back,  the  crowd  surged  in  through  the  gate,  while 
the  soldiers  within  rent  the  air  with  their  cheers. 
Then  followed  for  two  or  three  hours  a  free  inter- 


mingling  and 


and   finally,  the    parting 


words   and   salutations,  which  were  not  soon  for- 


gotten either  by  the  members  of  the  regiment  or 
their  friends. 

Taking  a  special  train,  the  regiment  arrived  in 
New  York  City  on  Sunday  night,  where  they  spent 
the  next  day  in  receiving  their  arms  and  accoutre- 
ments, and  at  4.30  p.  m.  the  next  day,  went  by  boat 
to  Perth  Amboy,  and  thence  the  same  day  to  Bal- 
timore. They  lay  all  night  in  the  depot  at  Balti- 
more alongside  a  train  loaded  with  wounded  sol- 
diers from  Pope's  battle-fields  in  Virginia.  This  first 
sight  of  the  sad  contingencies  of  war  affected  their 
nerves  more  seriously  than  did  afterwards  the  bat- 
tle-field itself  The  following  data,  from  the  notes 
of  Col.  J.  M.  Gere,  furnish  us  with  a  knowledge  of 
some  of  the  further  movements  of  the  regiment : 

Wednesday,  Sept.  3.  Rode  to  Washington,  where 
they  heard  that  Pope  had  been  defeated  at  Chantilly 
and  that  Lee  was  crossing  into  Maryland.  Slept 
that  night  in  the  barracks  near  the  depot,  and  the 
next  day  marched  through  the  streets  of  Washing- 
ton to  Long  Bridge,  supposed  to  be  on  their  way  to 
Fort  Pennsylvania  for  drill.  But  they  were  halted 
at  Long  Bridge,  and  their  drill  proved  to  be  of 
quite  a  different  character.  That  night  they  slept 
on  the  grass  on  the  bank  of  the  Potomac  ;  the  next 
day  marched  back  through  Georgetown  to  a  quarter 
of  a  mile  above  Chain  Bridge,  where  tents  were 
issued  and  camp  pitched.  The  next  day,  in  light 
marching  order,  joined  the  column  moving  to  the 
front. 

The  regiment  was  brigaded  with  the  65th  and 
67th  New  York  and  the  23d  and  61  st  Pennsyl- 
vania regiments,  under  command  of  Brig.  Gen. 
John  Cochrane,  of  Couch's  division,  and  joined  the 
brigade  at  Orfutt's  Cross  Roads.  The  campaign  of 
three  weeks  up  to  Antietam  was  a  severe  one  to  the 
raw  and  inexperienced  troops.  At  South  Moun- 
tain, after  a  day  of  severe  marching,  they  came  up 
just  in  time  to  see  Slocum's  splendid  charge  up  the 
heights  above  Crampton's  Pass,  but  not  to  take 
part  in  it.  The  next  morning  they  marched  over 
the  battle-field,  from  which  the  dead  had  not  yet 
been  removed,  and  halted  for  the  night  about  four 
miles  beyond. 

McClellan's  army  had  been  marching  up  the 
country  from  Washington,  with  the  Potomac  on 
his  left,  in  three  heavy  columns,  the  I22d  being  in 
the  left  column  next  the  river.  At  this  time,  those 
of  Lee's  forces  which  were  north  of  the  river  were 
scattered  in  several  bodies,  threatening  and  dem- 
onstrating upon  the  State  of  Maryland.  His  forces 
upon  the  south  bank  of  the  Potomac  were  push- 
ing the  attack  upon  Gen.  Miles  at  Harper's  Ferry, 
who,  while  he  held  his  strongly  fortified  position, 


14- 


io6 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


was  keeping  Lee's  army  divided,  and  at  the  same    ' 
time   acting   as   an  obstacle  to  the  withdrawal  of 
Lee's  forces  from   Maryland,  in  case  it  should  be- 
come necessary  for  him  to  retreat. 

The  interest  of  the  Union  Army  lay  in  attacking 
and  crushing  the  detached  portions  of  Lee's  army 
north  of  the  Potomac,  while  Miles  held  his  position 
at  Harper's  Ferry,  and  having  done  this,  to  reach 
Gen.  Miles  in  time  to  relieve  him.  On  the  other 
hand,  the  interest  of  the  rebel  army  was  to  delay 
the  Union  forces,  so  that  they  could  overpower  or 
compel  the  surrender  of  Miles  at  Harper's  Ferry, 
and  then  concentrate  their  whole  army  against 
McClellan  in  Maryland.  This  they  actually  accom- 
plished ihrongh  the  fall  of  Harper's  Ferry  and  the 
battle  of  Antietam,  although  the  results  of  the 
campaign  were  far  from  being  flattering  to  the  Con- 
federate cause. 

That  portion  of  Lee's  army  already  in  Maryland 
had  occupied  South  Mountain,  a  range  of  hills  run- 
ning southwestwardly  across  Maryland  to  the  Poto- 
mac east  of  Harper's  Ferry,  the  principal  passes  of 
which  they  had  fortified.  Gen.  McClellan,  learning 
of  Lee's  plans  through  a  general  order  discovered 
at  Frederick,  pushed  on  in  pursuit,  encountering  the 
enemy  in  their  stronghold's  at  Turner's  and  Cramp- 
ton's  Gaffs,  where,  after  desperate  resistance,  the 
rebels  were  repulsed  with  heavy  loss.  At  Turner's 
Gap  the  loss  to  the  enemy  in  killed  and  wounded 
was  about  2,000  and  1,500  prisoners,  while  at 
Crampton's  our  trophies  were  400  prisoners,  one 
gun  and  700  small  arms.  These  battles  were  fought 
on  the  I4lh  of  September,  by  Gens.  Meade  and 
Hooker,  of  the  right,  and  Gen.  Franklin  command- 
ing the  left  wing,  of  McClcllan's  army.  Could 
Franklin  but  have  realized  how  precious  were  the 
moments,  he  was  still  in  lime  to  have  relieved  Har- 
per's Ferry.  He  was  but  si.\  miles  distant  when  it 
surrendered  at  eight  o'clock  ne.\t  morning. 

As  already  stated,  our  I22d  Regiment  was  in 
neither  of  these  engagements.  On  the  15th,  after 
the  battle,  it  passed  up  through  Crampton's  Gap  to 
about  four  miles  beyond,  where  it  lay  all  day  on  the 
i6th,  and  while  there  heard  of  the  surrender  of 
Harper's  Ferry. 

The  advance  of  our  forces  from  South  Mountain 
towards  Antietam  began  to  be  made  on  the  morn- 
ing of  the  15th  of  September,  led  by  Gen.  Pleas- 
anton's  cavalry,  who  overtook  at  IJoonsborough  the 
rebel  cavalry  rear-guard,  charged  it  with  spirit,  and 
routed  it,  capturing  250  prisoners  and  two  guns. 
Richardson's  division  of  Sumner's  corps  followed, 
pressing  eagerly  on  that  afternoon,  and,  after  a 
march  of  ten  or  twelve  miles,  discovered  the  rebels 


posted  in  force  across  Antietam  Creek,  in  front  of 
the  little  village  of  Sharpsburg.  Here  the  entire 
rebel  force  under  Lee  was  soon  concentrated.  Rich- 
ardson halted  and  deployed  on  the  right  of  the  road 
leading  in  from  Keedysville  ;  Sykes,  with  his  divis- 
ion of  regulars,  following  closely  after,  came  up  and 
deployed  on  the  left  of  that  road.  Gen.  McClellan 
himself  with  three  corps  in  all,  came  up  during  the 
evening.  Hooker  moved  at  4  p.  .m.,  and  making  a 
long  detour,  crossed  the  Antietam  out  of  sight  and 
range  of  the  rebel  batteries.  Turning  at  length 
sharply  to  the  left,  he  came  to  an  open  field  with 
woods  in  front  and  on  each  side,  when  he  halted 
and  formed  his  lines  :  Rickett's  division  on  the  left ; 
Meade,  with  the  Pennsylvania  Reser\'es,  in  the 
center  ;  while  Doubleday,  on  the  right,  planting  his 
guns  on  a  hill,  opened  at  once  on  a  rebel  battery 
that  had  begun  to  enfilade  our  center.  By  this 
time  it  was  dark  and  the  firing  soon  ceased.  The 
infantry  of  the  opposing  lines  lay  down  for  the 
night  within  half  musket  shot  of  each  other. 

At  daylight  ne.\t  morning  (Sept.  171  the  battle 
opened  in  earnest.  Meade's  left  and  the  right  of 
Rickett's  line  became  engaged  at  nearly  the  same 
moment,  the  former  with  artillery,  the  latter  with 
infantry  ;  while  a  battery  was  pushed  forward  be- 
yond the  woods  directly  in  Hooker's  front,  across  a 
plowed  field,  to  the  edge  of  a  cornfield  beyond  it, 
destined  before  night  to  be  soaked  with  blood. 
Twice  during  that  bloody  day  was  this  cornfield 
taken  and  lost,  and  the  third  time  it  was  taken  by 
our  forces  and  held.  On  this  part  of  the  field  the 
most  terrible  fighting  of  the  day  was  done.  Jn  one 
of  these  charges,  the  34th  New  York,  which  had 
broken  at  a  critical  moment,  while  attempting  a  ma- 
neuver under  a  terrible  fire,  was  almost  literally  cut 
to  pieces  ;  and  the  15th  Massachusetts,  which  went 
into  the  action  600  strong,  was  speedily  reduced  to 

134- 

During  the  battle  of  Antietam  the  I22d  Regiment 
was  not  engaged  in  actual  fighting,  but  their  division 
(Couch's)  had  been  ordered  to  the  left  to  outflank  a 
supposed  flanking  movement  of  the  enemy.  Greeley 
in  his  American  conflict,  referring  to  this  movement, 
says  :  "  Gen.  Couch's  division,  5,coo  strong,  had 
been  sent  away  towards  Harper's  Ferry  —  evidently 
through  some  misapprehension  —  and  only  arrived 
at  a  late  hour  next  morning."  Some  of  the  oflficers 
say  they  returned  to  the  battle-field  on  the  night  of 
the  17th.     However,  the  difference  is  immaterial. 

September  iSth  and  19th  were  spent  upon  the 
battle  field,  and  on  the  20th  Couch's  division  (in- 
cluding the  I22di  marched  to  Williamsport,  where, 
after  some  skirmishing,  they  drove  oft"  the  rebel 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


107 


cavalry  under  Stewart,  which  had  crossed  the  Poto- 
mac at  this  point.  Here  private  Hunn,  the  first  man 
wounded  in  the  regiment,  received  a  flesh  wound  in 
the  leg.  One  man  in  Company  A  was  wounded. 
The  regiment  remained  here  two  days,  and  on  the 
23d  went  into  camp  in  a  pleasant  clover  meadow  at 
Downsville,  where  they  received  shelter  tents  and 
remained  under  drill  about  two  months.  Major  Jos. 
E.  Hamblin,  of  the  65th  New  York  (afterwards  Maj- 
Gen.)  being  detailed  by  Gen.  Cochrane,  com- 
mander of  the  brigade,  as  the  drill-master.  He  was 
very  competent,  and  under  his  excellent  drill  the 
regiment  soon  became  one  of  the  most  efficient  in 
the  army. 

October  i8th  and  19th,  Saturday  night  and  Sun- 
day, marched  28  miles  up  the  river  to  Hancock. 
On  the  2 1st,  left  Hancock  and  marched  (most  of  the 
distance  by  night)  eight  miles  down  the  river  to 
Cherry  Run  ;  and  after  lying  two  weeks  at  Indian 
Spring,  returned  to  Downsville,  and  the  next  day 
marched  as  wagon-guard,  crossing  the  Potomac  into 
Virginia  at  Berlin  on  the  3d  day  of  November. 


CHAPTER  XXV. 

The  One  Hundred  and  Twenty-Second  Regi- 
ment, Continued  —  Fredericksburg —  Burn- 
side's  Mud  Expedition — Chancellorsville 
—  Gettysburg  —  Rappahannock  Station  — 
Sandusky,  Ohio  —  Re-organization  of  the 
Army  under  Lieut.-Gen.  Grant. 

ON  the  8th  of  November,  1862, Gen.  Burnside 
superceded  Gen.  McClellan  in  command  of 
the  Army  of  the  Potomac,  and  immediately  there- 
after planned  his  campaign  to  move  upon  Rich- 
mond via  Fredericksburg.  The  I22d  Regiment 
was  now  in  the  left  grand  division  of  the  Army  of 
the  Potomac  (Franklin's),  ist  brigade  (Gen.  John 
Cochrane),  3d  division  (Gen.  D.  A.  Couch),  6th 
corps  (Sedgwick's),  then  commanded  by  Gen.  W. 
F.  Smith  ;  and  joined  the  march  towards  Freder- 
icksburg, November  10,  halting  till  the  15th,  at 
New  Baltimore,  thence  in  two  days  to  Stafford 
Court  House,  and  in  four  days  to  Belle  Plaine  and 
thence  to  Fredericksburg.  Pontoon  bridges  had 
been  laid  opposite  the  city  and  also  two  miles  be- 
low, on  the  night  of  the  loth,  by  our  engineer 
corps,  and  troops  were  then  crossing.  Our  brigade 
lay  near  the  bank  of  the  river  at  Franklin's  Cross- 
ing during  the  night,  and  crossed  at  4  a.  m.,  on  the 
nth  of  December. 

Gen,  Lee,  having  learned  of  Burnside's  purpose, 
had    occupied    Fredericksburg  with  a  brigade  of 


sharp-shooters  (Barksdale's)  and  had  posted  his  en- 
tire force  of  not  less  than  80,000  men  in  strong  in- 
trenchments  along  the  heights  for  two  miles  up 
and  down  the  river  in  the  rear  of  the  city.  Gen. 
Sumner,  with  the  advance  corps  of  our  army,  had 
arrived  on  the  7th  of  November,  and  on  the  21st 
had  summoned  the  city  to  surrender.  The  inhabit- 
ants had  mostly  abandoned  the  place  ;  the  sharp- 
shooters had  been  driven  out  by  the  shells  of  Burn- 
side  from  the  heights  of  Falmouth  and  by  an  in- 
fantry raid  across  the  river  in  boats,  and  the  pon- 
toon bridges  had  been  successfully  laid.  Such  was 
the  state  of  things  when  our  army  began  to  pour 
across  on  the  night  of  the  loth  of  December. 

The  attempt  of  Burnside  to  storm  the  heights  of 
Fredericksburg  on  that  memorable  13th  of  Decem- 
ber, 1862,  must  ever  remain  as  the  darkest,  bloodi- 
est and  most  fruitless  sacrifice  of  our  brave  soldiers 
during  the  whole  war.  Lee,  with  80,000  troops, 
was  posted  behind  his  breastworks  for  miles 
along  the  bluffs.  In  and  before  Fredericksburg 
were  the  grand  divisions  of  Hooker  and  Sumner, 
numbering  60,000.  While  300  rebel  guns  were 
advantageously  placed  on  every  eminence,  and 
raked  every  foot  of  ground  by  which  they  could  be 
approached,  Marye's  Hill,  directly  in  the  rear  of 
the  city,  and  in  front  of  our  storming  column,  was 
defended  by  an  impregnable  stone  wall,  four  feet  in 
height,  behind  which  was  posted  Barksdale's  brigade 
of  rebel  infantry.  Our  heavy  guns  were  mostly  on 
the  north  side  of  the  river  where  they  could  hardly 
reach  the  enemy.  Our  storming  column  consisted 
chiefly  of  Hancock's  and  French's  corps,  in  which 
Meagher's  Irish  brigade  suffered  the  severest  losses. 
It  dashed  itself  repeatedly  against  those  impreg- 
nable heights  until  two-thirds  of  its  numbers' 
strewed  the  ground.  General  Meagher,  in  his 
official  report,  says  : 

"  Of  the  1,200  I  led  into  the  action  only  280  ap- 
peared on  parade  next  morning."  Says  the  cor- 
respondent of  the  London  Times:  "That  any 
mortal  man  could  have  carried  the  position  before 
which  they  were  wantonly  sacrificed,  defended  as  it 
was,  it  seems  to  me  idle  for  a  moment  to  believe. 
But  the  bodies  which  lie  in  dense  masses  within 
forty  yards  of  the  muzzles  of  Colonel  Walton's  guns 
are  the  best  evidence  what  manner  of  men  they 
were  who  pressed  on  to  death  with  the  dauntless- 
ness  of  a  race  which  has  gained  glory  on  a  thousand 
battle  fields,  and  never  more  richly  deserved  it  than 
at  the  foot  of  Marye's  Heights  on  the  13th  day  of 
December,  1862." 

Franklin's  grand  division  on  the  left,  had  crossed 
about  two  miles  below  the  city,  his  whole  force 
numbering  about  40,000,  and  having  assailed  the 
right  of  the  enemy,  with  heavy  loss  in  Meade's  and 


io8 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


Hooker's  divisions,  were  unable  to  carr>'  their 
works.  Meade's  division  alone  lost  1,760  men  out 
of  some  6,CXX5  engaged.  Three  repeated  charges 
were  made  at  this  point  to  take  a  rebel  battery  and 
although  the  fighting  was  terrible  and  the  loss  of 
life  great,  no  particular  advantage  was  gained  on 
either  side.  And  so  ended  one  of  the  bloodiest 
days  in  the  annals  of  the  war. 

Our  I22d  Regiment  was  placed  well  to  the  left 
in  support  of  the  Pennsylvania  Reserves,  was  under 
heavy  artillery  fire  four  hours  and  had  four  men 
wounded. 

Monday,  December  15.  Recrossed  the  Rappa- 
hannock at  night  and  went  into  camp  near  Fal- 
mouth, where  the  regiment  remained  doing  ordinary 
camp  and  picket  duty  till  January  20,  1863. 

January  20.  Marched  in  Gen.  Burnsidc's  famous 
"  mud  campaign."  This  movement  contemplated 
a  crossing  in  force  at  Bank's  and  United  States' 
Fords,  above  Fredericksburg,  while,  at  the  same 
time,  to  attract  the  attention  of  the  enemy  in  that 
direction,  a  feint  of  crossing  was  to  be  made  at  the 
Sedden  House,  six  or  seven  miles  below.  His 
preparations  were  perfected  and  his  army  put  in 
motion  on  the  20th  of  January.  The  morning  was 
fair,  but  at  10  o'clock,  p.  m  ,  rain  and  sleet  began  to 
fall,  and  during  the  ne.xt  day  rain  poured  down  in 
torrents,  taking  the  frost  all  out  of  the  ground  and 
letting  the  army  trains,  artillery  and  baggage,  into 
the  mud  so  inextricably  that  it  was  impossible  to 
move.  After  lying  there  two  days  in  mud  and  dis- 
comfort, order  was  given  to  return  to  camp,  and  all 
made  their  way  back  as  best  they  could.  The 
movement  was  intended  to  have  been  made  under 
cover  of  night,  but,  on  account  of  the  impediment 
*of  the  storm  and  mud,  daylight  revealed  them  hope- 
lessly floundering  in  view  of  the  enemy,  who,  though 
they  immediately  guarded  the  fords,  were  not  fool- 
ish enough,  had  they  been  able,  to  squander  their 
men  and  animals  in  an  attempt  to  assail  our  stalled 
and  struggling  forces. 

Gen.  Hooker  having  assumed  command  of  the 
Army  of  the  Potomac  on  the  i6th  of  February, 
1863,  devoted  the  following  two  months  to  improv- 
ing the  discipline,  perfecting  the  organization,  and 
exalting  the  spirit  of  his  men.  During  this  time 
our  I22d  Regiment  was  engaged  chiefly  on  picket 
duty.  Hooker  soon  had  an  army  equal  in  numbers 
and  efficiency  to  any  ever  seen  on  this  continent, 
nearly  100,000  strong,  its  artillery  not  less  than 
10,000,  and  its  cavalry  13,000.  Being  at  length 
ready,  Hooker  dispatched  Stoneman,  with  most  of 
his  cavalry  up  the  north  side  of  the  Rappahannock 
with  instructions  to  cross  at  discretion  above  the 


Orange  and  Alexandria  Railroad,  strike  Fitz-Hugh 
Lee's  cavalry  (computed  at  2,oco)  near  Culjiepper 
Court  House,  capture  Gordonsville,  and  then  pounce 
on  the  Fredericksburg  and  Richmond  Railroad  near 
Saxton's  Junction,  cutting  telegraphs,  railroads, 
burning  bridges,  &c ,  thence  towards  Richmond, 
fighting  at  every  opportunity,  and  harrassing  by 
every  means  the  retreat  of  the  rebel  army,  which, 
it  was  calculated,  would  now  be  retiring  on  Rich- 
mond. This  order  was  issued  on  April  13. 
The  rains  and  the  swollen  river  caused  the  delay 
of  the  army,  and  the  recall  of  the  cavalry, 
which  had  already  efl'ected  a  crossing  of  the  Rappa- 
hannock ;  the  main  army  did  not  move  till  the 
morningof  the  25th, our  I22d  Regiment  and  brigade 
marching  at  2  p.  m.,  in  the  6th  (Sedgwick's)  corps, 
carrying  pontoons  to  Franklin's  Crossing  two  miles 
below  Fredericksburg.  The  I22d  were  engaged 
all  night  in  laying  the  pontoons.  Before  daylight 
Brook's  division  had  crossed  in  boats  and  drove  off 
the  rebel  pickets.  Gen.  Wadsworth,  commanding 
the  advance  of  Reynold's  division,  and  Sickles's  ( 3d ) 
corps,  being  now  apparently  ready  to  cross  in 
force,  the  3d  corps  was  ordered  to  move  silently 
and  rapidly  to  the  United  States'  Ford  and  thence 
to  Chancellorsville,  while  part  of  the  pontoons  were 
taken  up  and  sent  to  Banks's  Ford.  Reynolds, 
after  making  as  great  a  display  as  possible,  and  ex- 
changing some  long  shots  with  the  rebels  in  front, 
followed  on  the  2d  of  May,  raising  Hooker's  force 
at  or  near  Chancellorsville  to  70,000  men. 

Gibbon's  division  of  the  2d  corps,  6,000  strong, 
was  left  at  Falmouth,  to  guard  our  camps  and  stores. 
Sedgwick's  (6th)  corps,  with  our  I22d  Regiment,  re- 
mained at  the  crossing  (Franklin's)  in  front  of  the 
rebel  works,  covering  the  withdrawal  of  Sickles's 
(3d)  corps  and  Reynold's  division,  after  the  feint  of 
crossing  at  that  point,  and  remained  till  Saturday, 
May  2d.  At  this  date  an  order  was  received  for 
the  6th  corps  to  cross  the  Rappahannock  and  move 
to  join  Hooker  at  Chancellorsville.  That  night 
they  crossed  the  river  at  the  lower  crossing,  and 
after  skirmishing  up  through  Fredericksburg,  found 
themselves  at  3  o'clock  on  Sunday  morning  in  front 
of  Marye's  Heights  before  the  fatal  stone  wall  where 
fell  so  many  of  our  brave  soldiers  on  that  memora- 
ble 13th  of  December,  1862.  To  protect  themselves 
from  the  rebel  fire,  which  opened  upon  them  from 
the  fortifications,  they  moved  back  to  the  edge  of 
city  before  daylight,  and  were  joined  by  Gibbon's 
division  crossing  from  Falmouth,  raising  Sedgwick's 
force  to  nearly  30,000  men.  Meanwhile,  the  rebel 
troops  still  remaining  in  this  quarter  had  been  con- 
centrating on  Marye's  Hill,  where  they  had  several 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


109 


guns  in  position,  while  a  canal  covering-  their  left, 
with  the  bridges  all  taken  up,  increased  the  difficulty 
of  carrying  the  hill  by  assault.  One  attempt  to  clear 
the  enemy's  rifle-pits  at  the  foot  of  the  hill  was  re- 
pulsed ;  another,  and  a  successful  assault,  was  made 
at  II  A.  M.  by  three  storming  columns  of  Gen. 
Howe's  (2d)  division  under  Gen.  Neill  and  Cols. 
Grant  and  Seaver,  carrying  the  lower  work  and 
Marye's  Hill  with  little  loss  and  scarcely  without 
being  checked  in  their  advance,  and  capturing  200 
prisoners.  In  carrying  the  rebel  front  line  Capt. 
Church  was  wounded  by  a  case  shot.  In  carrying 
the  hill  about  goo  men  were  killed  and  wounded  in 
eleven  minutes.  The  I22d  was  in  the  supporting 
column  and  passing  over  the  hill,  turned  to  the 
right,  and  in  about  a  mile  came  in  front  of  a  forti- 
fied hill  occupied  by  a  force  of  the  enemy  and  two 
guns,  which  the  regiment  was  ordered  to  carry,  and 
did  it  promptly,  losing  nine  killed  and  wounded. 

Sedgwick  having  carried  the  heights,  reformed 
his  brigades,  and  leaving  Gibbon  at  Fredericksburg, 
moved  out  on  the  Chancellorsville  road.  Our  regi- 
ment moved  with  the  other  troops  at  i  p.  m.,  about 
four  miles  to  Salem  Church.  The  fortified  position 
of  the  rebels  here  was  unsuccessfully  attacked. 
The  enemy,  reenforced  by  about  30,000  men, 
flushed  with  victory  from  Chancellorsville,  assailed 
us  in  return,  and  for  about  two  hours  the  battle 
raged  furiously.  Our  forces  held  their  own  at  all 
points.  Towards  night  the  battle  lulled,  and  the 
I22d  was  thrown  to  the  extreme  right  front  of  our 
position,  which  they  held  all  night. 

Monday,  May  4.  Morning  broke,  and  Sedgwick's 
position  was  fast  becoming  critical.  The  enemy 
were  in  force  on  his  front,  and  feeling  around  his 
left,  back  towards  the  heights  of  Fredericksburg. 
Should  Hooker  remain  inactive,  the  brunt  of  fighting 
the  whole  rebel  army  was  imminent.  He  received 
several  dispatches  from  his  chief  during  the  day, 
evincing  a  very  uncertain  state  of  mind.  At  i  p.  m. 
the  enemy  moved  in  force,  striking  Sedgwick  in 
flank,  and  pushing  him  down  towards  the  river,  and 
during  the  night  over  it  at  Bank's  Ford,  with  a  loss 
of  hardly  less  than  5,000  men. 

In  this  movement  the  enemy  attempted  to  cut  off 
our  forces  from  the  river,  but  their  effort  was  suc- 
cessfully resisted.  A  bridge  was  laid  by  the  50th 
New  York  (engineers)  and  the  corps  recrossed  the 
Rappahannock  in  the  course  of  the  night,  the  I22d 
Regiment,  holding  the  bridge-head  in  the  face  of  the 
enemy  till  3  o'clock  in  the  morning,  being  the  last  to 
recross.  By  the  8th,  the  regiment  occupied  a  new 
camp  in  a  pine  woods,  called  Camp  Shaler,  further 
east  and  nearer  the  river  than  the  old  one. 


June  3.  Lee  began  to  put  his  forces  in  motion 
up  the  southern  bank  of  the  Rappahannock,  pre- 
paratory to  the  invasion  of  Maryland  and  Pennsyl- 
vania. The  movements  were  carefully  screened 
from  the  observation  of  our  army.  On  the  6th, 
Hooker  threw  over  Gen.  Howe's  division  of  the 
6th  corps  (containing  the  I22d)  a  little  below  the 
city,  to  ascertain  if  the  enemy  were  still  in  force 
there.  Hill,  who  had  been  left  to  guard  the  place, 
soon  convinced  him  that  there  had  been  but  little 
reduction  of  the  rebel  strength  in  that  quarter,  and 
after  some  careful  skirmishing,  in  which  three  of 
the  I22d  were  wounded,  he  withdrew  again  to  the 
north  side  of  the  river,  June  13. 

June  14-18.  Marched  to  Fairfa.x  Court  House. 
June  2 1st.  Firing  within  hearing  at  Adlie  and 
Snicker's  Gaps,  east  of  Winchester. 

June  14th.  Marched  to  Centerville,  camped  for 
the  night,  and  at  5  p.  m.,  June  25,  went  on  picket 
to  the  front  on  the  old  Bull  Run  battle  ground. 

June  26.  Marched  to  near  Drainsville  ;  (27), 
marched  at  4  o'clock  a.  m.,  and  crossed  the  Potomac 
at  Edward's  Ferry,  eighteen  miles  distant,  at  4  p.m.  ; 
(28)  marched  toward  Frederick  City,  just  skirting 
Sugar  Loaf  Mountain ;  (29)  marched  all  day  north- 
wardly ;  and  (30)  marched  si.xteen  miles  to  near 
Manchester,  Maryland. 

July  I.  Heard  that  the  ist  corps  had  struck 
the  enemy  at  Gettysburg,  and  that  battle  was 
joined  ;  started  at  sundown,  and  after  marching  all 
night,  (thirty  miles,)  arrived  upon  the  field  at  3 
p.  M.  of  the  2d,  and  went  immediately  into  the  front 
line.  On  the  3d  of  July,  from  8  till  1 1:30  a.  m.,  the 
I22d  Regiment  was  at  the  right  under  General 
Geary,  of  Slocum's  corps,  and  lost  heavily,  but 
defeated  the  enemy.  The  149th  Regiment  was  at 
the  left  side  of  the  I22d  through  part  of  the  fight. 
Slocum,  who  commanded  the  right  wing  of  our 
army  during  the  battle  of  Gettysburg,  had  been 
crowded  back  from  his  rifle-pits  on  the  night  of  the 
2d  of  July,  and  on  the  morning  of  the  3d,  in  the 
action  just  referred  to,  he  had  advanced  and  retaken 
them,  but  not  without  a  fierce  struggle  which  lasted 
over  three  hours.  Two  Onondaga  Regiments,  the 
149th  and  the  I22d,  had  the  honor  of  participating 
in  this  achievement,  under  one  of  Onondaga's 
honored  sons  as  commander  of  the  right  wing  of 
the  army— General  H.  W.  Slocum.  In  front  of  their 
position  that  morning  fell  1,200  rebel  dead.  The 
following  day  was  spent  on  the  battle  field,  taking 
care  of  the  wounded.  When  the  rebels  retreated 
our  brigade  followed  to  Middletown,  and  thence 
across  the  mountain  to  Funkstown,  arriving  on  the 
14th,  where  they  found  the  rebels  strongly  posted 


no 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


behind  breastworks,  and  so  sheltered  by  a  piece  of 

wood,  that  our  artillerj'  could  not  be  brought  to  bear 
upon  them.  Some  90  men  of  the  brigade  volun- 
teered to  chop  down  the  timber,  though  right  in 
front  of  and  exposed  to  the  rebel  guns,  that  the 
artillery  might  have  full  rake  ;  and  at  work  they 
went  with  axes,  keeping  their  rifles  by  their  side  ; 
but  in  the  morning,  when  the  attack  was  to  have 
been  made,  it  was  found  that  the  enemy  had  gone 
in  the  night.  Our  army  followed  them  four  miles 
to  Williamsport,  capturing  their  rear-guard,  re- 
crossing  the  Potomac  and  arriving  at  Warrcnton 
about  July  24th,  where  they  remained  till  Septem- 
ber 15th  ;  thence  to  White  Sulphur  Springs,  camp- 
ing at  Stone  House  Mountain,  till  October  i,  when 
they  started  at  11  a.  M.and  marched  all  next  day 
in  a  heavy  rain,  reaching  Catlett's  Station  on  the 
3d,  where  our  brigade  remained  guarding  the  station 
for  ten  days. 

October  13.  At  I  o'clock  a.  m.  marched  to 
Warrenton  Junction,  and  lay  in  line  of  battle  one 
mile  cast  of  the  junction  through  the  day,  to  pro- 
tect our  trains  and  the  flank  of  our  army  moving 
northward.  Towards  night  the  brigade  moved  to 
Kettle  Run,  a  mile  from  Hristow  Station,  arriving 
at  3  A.  M.,  and  the  next  day  marched  to  Centerville 
and  went  to  the  front  on  picket  duty.  This  move- 
ment appears  to  have  been  caused  by  the  enemy's 
moving  around  our  right  flank  and  threatening 
our  communications  with  Washington.  They  had 
pushed  for  Centerville  with  the  intention  of 
occupying  the  fortifications  there,  e.xpecting  that 
we  would  attack  them  ;  but  on  arriving  in  front 
of  the  position,  they  found  three  of  our  corps  in 
possession  of  the  works.  Judging  that  our  trains 
must  be  just  behind,  the  rebels  turned  sharp  to  the 
right,  and  found  them  where  they  expected,  moving 
alongside  of  the  railroad  track  under  the  escort  of 
the  2d  corps.  The  highway  was  just  at  the  left  of 
the  railroad  ;  as  they  were  coming  up,  and  as  they 
struck  the  train,  they  likewise  struck  the  2d  corps 
in  flank.  The  troops  of  this  corps  immediately 
jumped  over  the  railroad  bank,  and  with  their  artil- 
lery at  the  head  of  the  column,  pointing  down  the 
road,  were  in  splendid  position,  from  which  they  re- 
pulsed the  attack  handsomely,  inflicting  heavy  loss. 
This  affair  is  known  as  Hristow  Station. 

October  16.  Marched  four  miles  north  of  Cen- 
terville and  took  position,  awaiting  the  enemy. 
Considerable  fighting  for  two  days  past.  October 
19.  Pushing  the  enemy  towards  Gainesville.  Oc- 
tober 20.  Marched  to  New  Baltimore  and  Warren- 
ton, sending  the  enemy  across  the  river.  Lay  in 
camp  near  Warrenton  till  November  7. 


The  rebels  having  retired  south  of  the  Rappa- 
hannock, after  having  chased  our  army  almost  up 
to  Washington,  and  having  gained  a  decided  advan- 
tage in  the  only  important  collision  that  marked 
his  retreat,  Meade  sought  permission,  by  a  rapid 
movement  to  the  left,  to  seize  and  occupy  the 
Heights  of  Fredericksburg  ;  and  accordingly,  sent 
forward  Sedgwick,  with  the  5th  and  6th  corps,  at 
daybreak,  November  7,  from  Warrenton  to  Rappa> 
hannock  Station,  where  the  rebels  had  strongly  for- 
tified the  north  bank  of  the  river,  covering  their 
pontoon  bridge.  Arriving  at  noon  opposite  the 
station,  our  troops  were  halted  behind  a  hill  a  good 
mile  off,  rested  and  carefully  formed,  and  our  skir- 
mish lines  gradually  advanced  to  the  river  both 
above  and  below  the  enemy's  works.  Just  before 
sunset  it  was  decided  that  these  works  could  be 
carried  by  assault,  and  without  a  moment's  delay 
our  brave  soldiers  dashed  forward  to  the  charge, 
carrying  the  position,  capturing  four  cannon,  six 
limbers,  three  caissons,  1,600  prisoners,  2,000  small 
arms,  the  I22d  Regiment  losing  13  killed  and 
wounded.  In  ten  minutes  the  6th  Maine  lost  16 
out  of  23  officers,  and  123  out  of  350  enlisted  men, 
three  of  their  veteran  Captains  lying  dead,  with 
Lieutenant-Colonel  Harris,  of  this  regiment,  and 
Major  Wheeler,  of  the  5th  Wisconsin,  severely 
wounded.  Adjutant  "Clark,  of  the  former,  and 
Lieut.  Russell,  were  also  wounded.  The  rebels 
also  lost  heavily.  Col.  Gleason  of  the  12th  Vir- 
ginia, being  killed.  Gen.  Hayes  surrendered,  but 
afterwards  escaped.  Two  of  his  culonels  swam 
the  river.  The  whole  achievement  was  the  work 
of  two  brigades  numbering  less  than  3,000  men. 
The  charge  was  made  with  fi-\ed  bayonets  without 
firing  a  shot.  Our  command  of  the  ford  was  com- 
plete, and  Lee  fell  back  to  Culpepper  that  night, 
and  across  the  Rappahannock  the  ne.xt  day. 

Our  force  moved  to  Brandy  Station  about  Novem- 
ber 10  ;  left  camp  on  the  26,  (Thanksgiving  Day) ; 
crossed  the  Rapidan  at  8  A.  M.  ;  remained  across 
the  river  marching  and  fighting  more  or  less  to 
Mine  Run,  till  December  2d,  when  they  recrossed 
the  Rapidan  at  Gold  Mine  P'ord  and  returned  to 
their  old  camp  at  Brandy  Station,  where  the  regi- 
ment remained  till  the  3d  of  January,  1864. 

At  this  date  the  brigade  broke  camp  and  started 
for  Sandusky,  Ohio,  via  Washington  and  Wheel- 
ing, West  Va.,  arriving  at  Sandusky  January  13. 
The  I22d  Regiment  quartered  in  the  town,  the  rest 
of  the  brigade  on  Johnson's  Island  guarding  2,600 
rebel  prisoners.  They  remained  at  Sandusky  just 
three  months,  until  April  13,  when  they  started 
back  to   Virginia,   arriving   at   their   old   camp  at 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


Ill 


Brandy  Station  with  three  regiments  of  the  brigade 
April  19 

Gen.  Grant  having  been  appointed  by  Congress 
Lieutenant-General  of  the  Army,  February  24, 
1864,  was  summoned  from  the  West  by  telegraph, 
and  on  the  8th  of  March  repaired  to  Washington 
to  receive  his  commission  and  instructions,  as  com- 
mandant of  all  the  Union  forces.  The  residue  of 
March  and  nearly  the  whole  of  April  were  devoted 
to  careful  preparation  for  the  campaign  against 
Richmond.  The  Army  of  the  Potomac,  still  com- 
manded immediately  by  Gen.  Meade,  was  com- 
pletely reorganized,  its  five  corps  being  reduced  to 
three,  commanded  respectively  by  Gen.  Hancock 
(2d).  Warren  (5th),  and  Sedgwick  (6th).  Maj. 
Gens.  Sykes,  French  and  Newton,  with  Brig.  Gens. 
Kenly,  Spinola  and  Sol.  Meredith,  were  relieved 
and  sent  to  Washington  for  orders.  Gen.  Burn- 
side,  who  had  been  reorganizing  and  receiving 
large  accessions  to  his  (9th)  corps  in  Maryland, 
crossed  the  Potomac  March  2d,  and  joined  Meade's 
army,  though  the  formal  incorporation  therewith 
was  postponed  till  after  the  passage  of  the  Rapi- 
dan.  This  junction  again  raised  the  positive  or 
fighting  strength  of  the  army  to  considerable  over 
100,000  men. 

In  the  reorganization  this  spring,  the  old  3d  di- 
vision was  broken  up  and  divided  between  the  ist 
and  2d  divisions,  our  brigade  being  attached  to  the 
1st  division  as  the  4th  brigade,  and  the  3d  division 
of  the  3d  corps  transferred  to  our  corps  as  the  3d 
division  of  the  6th  corps  ;  so  that  now  the  I22d 
Regiment  belonged  to  the  4th  brigade,  ist  division^ 
6th  corps. 


CHAPTER  XXVI. 

The  One  Hundred  and  Twenty-Second  Regi- 
ment, Continued  —  Campaign  of  the  Wilder- 
ness —  Battle  of  Cold  Harbor  —  South  of 
THE  James  —  Expedition  to  the  Shenandoah 
Valley  —  Petersburg  —  List  of  Promotions 
—  Fifteenth  Cavalry. 

THE  history  of  the  I22d  Regiment,  with  the 
brigade  and  division  of  which  it  was  a  part, 
during  the  campaign  of  the  Wilderness  and  up  to 
the  sanguinary  battle  of  Cold  Harbor,  is  given  in 
the  following  extracts  from  the  Diary  of  Major  T. 
L.  Poole,  of  Geddes,  which  recorded  each  day's 
events  as  they  transpired  till  the  time  he  was 
wounded  and  left  the  army.  The  notes  of  this 
diary  were  made  at  the  front,  in  the  midst  of  the 
stirring  scenes  which  they  describe,  and  will  add 
the  zest  of  personal  interest  to  our  narrative  : 


May  4,  1864.  Left  camp  near  Brandy  Station 
at  daylight.  Our  brigade  is  rear-guard  and  is  with 
the  wagons  of  the  corps.  At  about  11  p.  m., 
marched  eastward  and  went  into  camp  at  Gold  Mine 
Ford.  At  the  ford  we  found  the  entire  wagon 
trains  of  the  army,  and  they  were  then  crossing  the 
Rapidan.  We  spread  our  blankets  on  the  ground 
and  slept  till  daylight. 

May  5.  Did  not  cross  the  river  until  late  in  the 
afternoon,  when  we  marched  about  two  miles  and 
encamped,  still  being  the  wagon-guard.  A  battle 
was  in  progress  all  day  in  front  of  us,  continuing 
till  late  at  night.  It  is  impossible  to  learn  anything 
definite. 

Friday,  May  6.  We  were  awakened  at  midnight, 
and  leaving  the  wagons  behind  us,  marched  several 
miles  to  the  right  and  took  up  line  of  battle. 
Crossed  over  a  portion  of  the  battle  ground  of  yes- 
terday, and  saw  many  of  the  dead.  The  battle 
commenced  at  daylight ;  but  at  this  hour  (6  a.  m.) 
we  have  taken  no  part.  Word  has  come  that  we 
shall  soon  make  a  bayonet  charge.  2  o'clock  p.  m. 
Attempted  the  charge  and  failed.  We  advanced 
twenty  rods  and  halted,  took  what  cover  we  could 
and  opened  fire.  Continued  firing  about  twenty 
minutes,  when  both  sides  ceased ;  our  skirmishers, 
however,  kept  up  fire  during  the  day.  Our  losses 
up  to  this  time  in  the  regiment  are,  one  man  killed 
and  41  officers  and  men  wounded.  Besides  these 
15  are  missing,  and  we  have  reason  to  suppose  some 
of  them  are  killed  or  wounded.  My  company  (I) 
lost  Captain  Dwight,  wounded  in  the  left  leg  below 
the  knee,  not  supposed  to  be  serious ;  privates 
Howard  and  Brooks,  both  wounded  severely ; 
Lieutenant  Wilson,  of  Company  A,  wounded  in  the 
shoulder  (proved  fatal)  ;  Lieutenant  C.  B.  Clark, 
wounded  in  the  leg;  (Captain  Dwight,  wounded 
early  in  the  morning  at  8  o'clock,  and  I  have  since 
been  in  command  of  the  company.)  Corporal  Isaac, 
of  my  company,  is  missing,  and  I  suppose  him  killed 
(was  killed)  ;  Corporal  F.  Patterson,  of  Company 
D,  belonging  to  my  color-guard,  is  also  wounded. 

The  126th  Ohio  regiment  are  now  building 
breastworks  a  few  rods  in  our  rear  ;  and  so  matters 
remain  at  present,  2  p.  m. 

At  6:30  p.  m.,  the  rebels  made  an  attack  upon 
our  works,  in  front,  right  flank  and  rear,  the  attack 
being  made  by  Gordon's  division.  Our  regiment 
and  the  entire  brigade  were  driven  back  in  great 
confusion  and  with  heavy  loss,  many  of  our  regi- 
ment being  killed  and  wounded  and  others  falling 
and  being  taken  prisoners.  The  extreme  right, 
consisting  of  our  division,  was  driven  back  and 
completely  broken  to  pieces,  being  left  in  fragments 


1 1; 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


in  the  woods.  We  retreated  rjcarly  two  miles, 
seeking  to  rally  the  men,  but  the  panic  was 
such  that  we  found  it  impossible.  Captain  Clapp 
and  myself  finally  got  half  a  dozen  of  our  regiment 
together,  and  as  we  had  our  regimental  flag,  it  gave 
us  a  rallying  point  ;  and  with  our  little  band  wc 
started  back  to  the  front.  Other  small  squads  were 
found,  and  wc  soon  had  quite  a  force  together.  I 
only  had  three  men  in  my  own  company  out  of  30. 
Our  force  went  back  a  quarter  of  a  mile  or  so, 
gathering  strength  as  wc  went.  Here  we  were 
joined  by  Lieut. -Col  Dwight,  Capt.  Walpole, 
Lieuts.  Hoyt  and  Wells  and  five  or  si.x  more  of  our 
men.  Col.  Upton,  of  the  121st  New  York,  took 
command  of  our  division  i  what  was  left  of  it)  and 
soon  formed  a  line  of  battle,  We  and  the  ist  Long 
Island  regiment  (67th  N.  V.  1  consisting  of  about 
forty  men,  were  made  the  second  line.  At  1 1  p.  M. 
we  were  attacked  in  force,  but  we  drove  the  enemy 
back  easily.  At  about  1  o'clock  r.  m.,  we  moved  to 
the  right  again,  and  lay  down  behind  a  battery  and 
rifle-pits.  I  have  no  idea  what  the  loss  of  our  regi- 
ment is,  but  it  is  very  great.  Capt.  Piatt,  Lieut. 
Ostrander  and  Lieut.  Luthur,  are  wounded.  Capt. 
J.  M.  Gere  and  Lieut.  Hall  arc  missing,  and  are 
probably  in  the  hands  of  the  rebels,  and  I  presume 
Luther  and  Ostrander  are  both  prisoners,  i  Proved 
true.)  I  think  our  entire  loss  so  far  will  be  nearly 
or  quite  2,000.  Out  of  nine  sergeants  and  corpo- 
rals belonging  to  my  color-guard,  only  one  is  with 
me. 

Col.  J.  M.  Gere,  who  was  Captain  of  the  i22d, 
and  taken  prisoner  at  the  time  of  the  action  just 
narrated,  gives  some  personal  recollections  of  the 
time  the  division  was  broken  into  pieces  in  that  en- 
gagement. He  was  in  one  squad  and  Major  (then 
Lieut. )  Poole  in  another,  as  they  were  all  broken  up  in 
the  woods,  and  of  course  had  different  experiences. 
Johnston,  he  says,  had  formed  in  our  rear  and  Gor- 
don's division  was  drawn  up  across  our  right  flank, 
where  the  I22d  Regiment  was,  on  the  extreme  right 
of  our  infantry,  with  only  the  22d  New  York  cav- 
alry to  the  right  of  them.  At  night  Johnston  opened 
fire  in  our  rear  and  Gordon  charged  our  right  flank, 
driving  in  our  skirmish  line  and  striking  our  cav- 
alry ;  and  as  the  rebels  kept  pressing  and  breaking 
our  right,  the  attack  swept  down  till  it  struck  the 
12 2d,  which  was  driven  back  to  the  left  about  a 
quarter  of  a  mile.  Here  Gen.  Shaler  made  a  rally 
with  about  500  men,  fronting  to  the  right  and  charg- 
ing Gordon  as  he  came  up  within  a  dozen  rods. 
The  enemy  stood  till  our  line  was  within  two  or 
three  rods  of  them,  and  then  broke  and  ran.  As 
the  500  rushed  to  the  charge,  Gen.   Shaler,  who 


was  the  only  mounted  man  present,  turning  to  ride 
to  the  rear  to  bring  up  reenforcements,  rode  directly 
into  the  line  of  the  enemy,  who  had  moved  round  to 
our  rear,  and  emerging  from  the  woods,  fired  into 
our  backs.  Gen.  Shaler  was  taken  prisoner.  The 
rest  kept  on  with  their  charge  and  drove  the  enemy 
to  near  the  position  where  the  engagement  had  be- 
gun, the  rebels  in  the  rear  following  and  firing  into 
the  backs  of  the  charging  squad.  The  chargers 
then  turned  upon  them,  scattered  their  line  and 
made  their  way  back  to  the  road  from  which  they 
had  started.  At  this  point  no  other  troops  were 
visible,  no  one  was  in  command,  and  by  common 
consent  each  went  to  look  for  his  regiment.  In 
half  or  three-quarters  of  an  hour,  the  rebels  were 
heard  cheering  up  through  the  woods.  There  was 
with  us  one  stand  of  colors  belonging  to  a  Maine 
regiment  ;  this  was  planted  in  the  road,  and  in  a 
minute  about  150  men  rallied  around  it  facing  the 
enemy.  Raising  a  yell,  they  charged  the  on-coming 
brigade  of  rebels  with  such  fury  that  (probably 
thinking  the  little  squad  was  only  the  advance  of  a 
heavy  charging  column)  they  broke  and  ran,  and 
were  pursued  a  mile,  till  they  joined  a  larger  body 
of  the  rebel  army. 

In  the  squad  of  500,  there  were  a  good  many  of 
the  I22d  Regiment  ;  in  the  150  were  Col.  Dwight, 
Adjutant  Tracy  and  Capt.  Gere,  of  the  officers,  and 
a  number  of  the  men.  The  efi"ect  of  the  charge 
was  to  completely  neutralize  the  enemy's  advantage 
to  the  right. 

At  night  our  men  had  mustered  about  60,  under 
command  of  Colonel  Dwight.  and  had  made  their 
way  to  the  left,  where  they  lay  in  front  of  the  lines 
and  battery  of  the  2d  corps  (not  knowing  that  the 
2d  corps  was  there,)  until  about  2  o'clock  a.  m.  At 
this  early  hour  the  rebels  (supposed  to  be  Gordon's 
brigade,)  came  up  to  make  an  attack  upon  the  2d 
corps.  The  little  company  lay  still  till  the  rebels 
were  within  close  range  when  they  all  discharged 
their  pieces  with  such  effect  that  the  enemy  was 
repulsed  and  hastily  retreated,  supposing  that  the 
volley  of  musketry  which  burst  thus  suddenly  and 
unexpectedly  upon  them  was  but  the  precursor  of 
an  attack  by  a  large  body  of  the  Union  army.  The 
2d  corps  had  made  ready  to  oi)en  upon  the  enemy 
with  artillery,  but  fortunately  for  our  little  squad  in 
front  of  their  batteries,  they  had  heard  the  volley 
and  the  rebels  retreating  and  withheld  their  fire. 

In  one  of  these  isolated  situations,  while  attempt- 
ing to  break  out  through  the  enemy's  lines  on  the 
right.  Adjutant  Tracy  and  Captain  Gere  were  taken 
prisoners,  as  already  referred  to  in  Major  Poole's 
diary.      The  former  remained  a  prisoner  about  one 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


"3 


month,  while  the  latter  was  kept  about  six  months 
in  various  rebel  prisons,  and  finally  escaped  from 
the  prison  at  Columbia,  South  Carolina,  in  company 
with  Captain  Horace  H.  Walpole,  taken  prisoner  at 
Spottsylvania. 

Major  Poole's  Diary  Continued.  —  May  7. 
Soon  after  daylight,  the  rebels  attacked  us  once  more, 
but  we  drove  them  back,  our  battery  doing  us  great 
service.  Adjutant  Tracy  is  missing  and  is  sup- 
posed to  be  wounded  and  a  prisoner.  Col.  Dwight 
has  detailed  me  as  Adjutant,  and  Lieut.  Wilkins 
has  taken  my  company.  Lieut.  Hall  and  a  squad 
of  men  have  just  come  in.  At  8  a.  m.,  moved 
again  to  the  right  about  two  miles  and  occupied 
rifle-pits,  where  we  lay  quietly  all  day.  At  9:30  p. 
M.,  fell  in,  moving  towards  the  left  and  marching  all 
night. 

May  8.  Passed  through  Chancellorsville  and 
took  the  road  to  Spottsylvania  Court  House.  About 
noon  our  advance  met  the  enemy  and  engaged 
them.  During  the  afternoon  we  supported  a  bat- 
tery, and  at  5  o'clock  moved  into  some  breastworks, 
together  with  the  6th  Maine  and  1 19th  Pennsyl- 
vania. Here  lost  one  man.  At  9  p.  m.,  were  at- 
tacked, but  there  had  been  no  general  engagement 
during  the  day.  Our  entire  loss  up  to  this  time  has 
been  130 — less  than  30  of  them  prisoners.  Gen. 
A.  Shaler  and  Gen.  Seymour  are  among  the  latter. 
The  Chasseurs  (65th  N.  Y.,)  and  ist  Long  Island 
(67th  N.  Y.,)  have  lost  very  heavily.  Capt.  Tracy, 
(of  the  Chasseurs)  and  Capt.  Cooper,  of  the  Long 
Island,  are  both  killed,  and  a  number  of  officers  are 
wounded  in  both  regiments. 

May  9.  Moved  at  daylight  to  the  line,  and  lay 
upon  an  open  plain  supporting  a  battery.  Gen. 
John  Sedgwick,  commanding  the  6th  corps,  was 
killed  this  morning  by  sharp-shooters.  During  the 
afternoon  we  were  exposed  to  the  enemy's  shells 
and  sharp-shooters,  but  met  with  no  loss.  Up  to 
this  time  officers  and  men  have  behaved  splendidly  j 
but  all  are  worn  down  with  fatigue,  hard  marches, 
continued  fighting  and  loss  of  sleep.  During  Mon- 
day night  we  were  attacked  three  different  times  by 
the  enemy.  I  am  almost  sick,  and  many  are  worse 
off  than  I  am.  We  have  about  200  men  left  for 
duty  and  eight  officers,  besides  the  colonel  and  my- 
self. Some  of  the  best  men  of  our  regiment  are 
gone,  but  I  hardly  have  time  to  think  about  them. 
Tuesday,  May  10.  Orders  came  at  2  o'clock  this 
morning  that  we,  in  conjunction  with  our  entire  force 
in  front,  would  advance  upon  the  enemy  at  daylight. 
Daylight  came,  however,  and  we  did  not  move. 
During  the  afternoon  Col.  Dwight  was  sent  back  to 
hospital  sick  and  worn  out,  and  Capt.  Walpole  took  | 
IS* 


command  of  the  regiment.  The  battle  commenced 
early  in  the  morning  and  up  to  this  time  (4  p.  m.,) 
has  raged  with  terrible  fury.  Fortunately  for  us, 
we  have  not  suffered  much  along  our  portion  of  the 
line,  and  our  brigade  has  not  been  harmed. 

Orders  have  come.  The  Chasseurs  have  taken 
knapsacks  and  haversacks,  and  started  forward. 
The  Long  Islands  and  our  own  regiment  have 
moved  into  some  rifle-pits  to  the  left.  The  charge 
took  place  at  about  6  o'clock,  and  lasted  some  forty 
minutes.  We  could  hear  but  not  see  what  was- 
going  on.  Directly  in  our  front  the  charge  was- 
successful,  but  we  were  finally  driven  back  with 
heavy  loss.  The  charging  column  consisted  of  the 
Sth  and  6th  Maine,  the  sth  Wisconsin  and  r4th  and 
56th  New  York  regiments.  They  took  1,500  pris- 
oners and  a  battery  of  four  guns  ;  the  guns,  how- 
ever, they  were  compelled  to  leave. 

May  II.  Our  regiment  went  out  on  picket  to 
the  left.  Sharp  picket  firing  all  day.  Lost  five 
men,  wounded  ;  also  Capt.  Walpole,  supposed  to 
be  taken  prisoner.  He  had  given  me  orders  early 
in  the  morning  to  advance  the  left  wing,  which  I 
had  charge  of,  and  at  the  same  time  directed  the 
right  wing  to  advance.  We  drew  upon  us  a  heavy 
fire,  and  Walpole  has  not  been  seen  since  He  was 
either  shot  or  went  through  the  lines  and  was  taken 
prisoner.  (Was  taken  prisoner,  and  made  his  es- 
cape from  Columbia  prison.  South  Carolina.)  The 
right  wing  of  our  regiment  was  relieved  at  night. 
Captain  Clapp  now  assumed  command  and  sent 
for  me  to  report  to  him,  sending  Lieut.  Wells  to 
take  command  of  the  left  wing.  We  returned  to 
the  place  we  had  started  from  in  the  morning  and 
remained  till  daylight. 

May  12.  Our  brigade  fell  in  at  daylight  and 
marched  off  to  the  left.  Early  this  morning.  Gen. 
Hancock,  with  his  (2d)  corps,  made  a  grand  charge 
on  the  enemy's  lines  and  was  successful,  capturing 
5,000  prisoners,  including  three  Major  Generals 
and  about  20  cannon.  In  going  through  a  piece  of 
woods,  our  regiment,  which  was  in  the  rear,  was 
cut  off  by  another  column.  We  were  exposed  to  a 
heavy  musketry  fire,  and  also  to  rain  which  lasted 
all  day.  We  could  find  nothing  of  our  brigade,  and 
as  we  were  near  the  front,  our  little  band  of  about 
100  decided  to  go  in,  and  accordingly,  attached  our- 
selves to  the  2d  corps,  and  went  forward  into  some 
breastworks  which  had  been  taken  by  Hancock  this 
morning.  Here  we  remained  till  late  in  the  after- 
noon, fighting  hard  all  day. 

Just  behind  us  was  a  spot  so  exposed  to  the  rebel 
fire  from  their  breastworks  in  front  of  us,  that  no 
soldier  could  live  there  a  moment.     One  section  of 


114 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK 


a  battery,  two  guns  and  caisson,  came  down  on  a 
run  to  occupy  this  spot,  with  a  view  of  shelling  out 
the  rebels  about  thirty  rods  in  front  of  us,  when 
they  were  fired  upon  and  every  man  and  horse 
killed  instantly.  Not  one  escaped.  The  rebels 
made  desperate  attempts  to  drive  us  out  of  our 
works  and  partially  succeeded.  We  lost  but  few 
men  ourselves,  but  the  carnage  around  us  was 
fearful.  About  4  o'clock  we  were  relieved,  and  as 
night  set  in  found  the  rest  of  our  brigade. 

Friday,  May  13.  Our  brigade  moved  and  oc- 
cupied the  same  rifle-pits  we  had  occupied  the  day 
before.  The  rebels  during  the  night  had  fallen 
back,  leaving  their  dead  and  wounded  in  our  hands. 
Our  skirmishers  were  sent  out  immediately,  and 
soon  reached  the  skirmish  line  of  the  enemy.  Col. 
Dwight  rejoined  us  this  morning  from  the  hospital 
and  Captain  Cossitt  from  a  sick-leave.  Gen.  Meade 
published  an  order  this  morning  which  I  read  to  the 
regiment,  announcing  that  so  far  we  had  been  suc- 
cessful, capturing  18  cannon,  22  colors  and  8,000 
prisoners. 

We  remained  in  these  pits  all  day  and  until  two 
o'clock  at  night,  when  we  fell  in  again  and  marched 
to  the  left,  to  the  support  of  Gen.  Hurnside. 

Saturday,  May  14.  Crossing  the  Po  River  and 
skirmishing.  No  battle.  After  crossing  the  stream, 
threw  up  breastworks,  and  our  regiment,  detailed 
for  picket  duly,  immediately  went  out.  Heavy 
rains  for  three  days,  impeding  the  progress  of  the 
army. 

Monday,  May  16.  Our  regiment  relieved  from 
picket  duty.  May  17.  A  false  alarm  brought  us 
all  to  the  rifle-pits,  but  nothing  came  of  it.  Soon 
after  dark  we  fell  in  quietly  and  took  up  our  line  of 
march  to  the  extreme  right  of  the  army,  where  we 
arrived  about  daylight.  May  18.  Found  that  our 
corps  formed  a  line  of  battle,  column-by-divisions, 
appearances  indicating  that  a  charge  in  that  form 
was  contemplated.  Our  brigade  was  sent  to  the 
extreme  right  and  flank,  as  a  guard  against  a  flank 
movement  by  the  rebels.  The  Chasseur's  and 
Long  Island  regiments  are  on  picket  and  we  on  re- 
serve. So  matters  stand  at  9  o'clock,  a.  m.  The 
charge  was  attempted  and  failed,  and  in  the  after- 
noon we  were  marched  back  to  our  former  position. 
Here  we  remained  till  daylight.  May  19.  Early  in 
the  morning  moved  to  a  new  position  still  further 
on  the  left,  where  we  were  busy  all  day  building 
breastworks.  An  attack  was  made  near  night  upon 
our  right  flank  and  rear,  the  object  being  the  cap- 
ture of  our  wagon  trains.  Moved  about  1 1  o'clock, 
p.  M.,  to  the  support  of  the  2d  corps,  which  was 
engaged  with  the  enemy.     The  battle  was  over  be- 


fore we  reached  the  ground,  and  we  encamped  for 
the  remainder  of  the  night. 

May    20.     Engaged    in    building    breastworks. 
Portions  of  the  army  engaged  with  the  enemy. 

Saturday,  May  2 1 .  About  9  a.  m  ,  marched  ofi"  to 
the  extreme  left.  Found  the  entire  army  moving 
in  the  same  direction.  Halted  near  the  position 
occupied  on  the  20th,  and  half  our  regiment  sent 
back  on  picket  to  the  rear.  About  dark,  the  rebels 
made  an  attack  a  little  to  the  right  of  us,  which  was 
easily  repulsed.  Our  position  is  strongly  posted 
with  16  pieces  of  artillery.  At  1 1  p.  m,  ordered  to 
fall  in,  and  marched  again  to  the  left,  marching 
all  night.  Halted  at  HoUaday's  for  breakfast, 
thence  to  Guinea's,  a  station  of  the  P'redericksburg 
and  Richmond  Railroad,  distant  from  the  latter 
place  about  45  miles.  We  can  hear  cannonading 
in  the  direction  of  Bowling  Green,  towards  which 
our  advance  is  making.  Remained  here  in  camp  at 
the  farm  on  which  is  the  negro  hut  in  which  Stone- 
wall Jackson  is  said  to  have  died  after  his  wound  at 
Chancellorsville.  At  6  p.  m.,  moved  again,  march- 
ing about  five  miles,  when  we  encamped,  and  re- 
mained till  9  o'clock,  A.  M  ,  Monday,  May  23. 

May  23  and  24.  Marching  all  day.  Our  divi- 
sion occupied  on  the  25th  in  tearing  up  the  Gor- 
donsville  Railroad,  which  was  eft'ectually  destroyed 
for  about  a  mile ;  and  on  the  26th  marched  all 
night  and  until  2  o'clock  p.  m.  of  the  27th,  when 
we  crossed  the  Pamunkey  River  at  Hanoverton, 
less  than  twenty  miles  from  Richmond. 

May  29.  Our  division  marched  several  miles 
bearing  to  the  north,  and  finally  halted  about  a  mile 
south  of  Hanover  Court  House  At  this  point  the 
rear  of  the  column  was  attacked  by  rebel  cavalry. 
The  67th  New  York  and  four  companies  of  the 
I22d  were  deployed  as  skirmishers  and  remained 
here  all  night  undisturbed.  The  column  counter- 
marched, and  taking  the  direct  road  to  Richmond, 
marched  about  two  miles  and  then  halted.  Marched 
again  in  the  afternoon  taking  another  road  towards 
Richmond,  formed  a  line  of  battle  in  a  dense  woods 
and  rested  for  the  night. 

May  31.  A  brisk  skirmish  fire  was  kept  up  all 
day  and  in  the  afternoon  we  were  shelled.  About 
midnight  we  left  our  station  and  moved  to  the  left, 
marching  till  noon,  June  ist,  and  arrived  at  Cold 
Harbor.  Here  we  met  our  cavalry  which  had  been 
engaged  in  a  severe  battle  the  day  before,  and  skir- 
mishing was  still  going  on.  Our  corps  immediately 
formed  in  line  of  battle  and  relieved  the  cavalry, 
which  moved  to  our  left.  We  are  less  than  ten 
miles  from  Richmond  and  about  two  miles  from 
Savage's  Station.   About  2  o'clock  p.  m.,  the  enemy 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


"5 


opened  on  us  with  artillery,  to  which  we  replied 
with  three  batteries.  The  enemy  had  a  good  range 
and  killed  and  wounded  a  large  number.  Captain 
Clapp  and  20  men  of  our  regiment  were  on  picket 
duty.  During  the  artillery  duel  the  6th  and  i8th 
corps  were  formed  in  line  of  battle  four  lines  deep, 
the  I22d  being  placed  in  the  fourth  line.  The  three 
front  lines  were  composed  of  the  2d  Connecticut 
Heavy  Artillery,  a  regiment  which  never  till  now 
had  been  under  fire,  having  been  in  the  defences  at 
Washington.  It  was  a  three-battalion  regiment  of 
fine  looking  men,  under  Col.  Kellogg.  At  6:30  p. 
M.  orders  came  to  attack  the  enemy.  We  passed  over 
an  open  field  a  few  rods,  then  through  a  pine  grove 
about  20  rods,  and  the  balance  of  the  way  over  open 
fields,  the  entire  distance  being  less  than  half  a 
mile.  As  we  emerged  from  the  woods  the  rebels 
opened  fire  and  our  men  commenced  dropping. 
The  enemy's  fire  being  too  severe  for  the  2d  Con- 
necticut, they  broke  up  in  great  confusion,  retreat- 
ing through  our  lines,  so  that  we  became  the  front 
line.  The  loss  of  the  2d  Connecticut  was  over  400, 
including  the  Colonel,  who  was  a  brave  officer  and 
fell  at  the  head  of  his  regiment  riddled  with  rebel 
bullets.  Our  line  continued  to  advance  in  good 
order  until  we  had  reached  within  thirty  rods  of 
the  rebel  works,  when  an  order  came  to  fall  back  to 
a  small  ravine  in  the  rear,  but  before  the  order 
could  be  obeyed  the  rebels  had  discharged  their 
heaviest  fire  fearfully  thinning  our  ranks.  Out  of 
140  men,  75  were  killed  and  wounded.  Lieutenant 
Wooster,  of  Company  G,  killed  ;  Lieut.  T.  L.  Poole, 
wounded  in  the  side  and  left  arm  and  shoulder,  re- 


sulting   in    the    loss    of    his    arm. 


The  regiment 


returned  to  the  ravine  and  threw  up  breastworks 
on  the  crest  of  a  small  ridge.  During  the  night  the 
rest  of  the  army  arrived  at  Cold  Harbor. 

Thus  far  Major  Poole's  diary.  A  few  notes  may 
be  made  of  the  general  history  of  this  action. 
Cold  Harbor  is  on  four  cross  roads  a  short  distance 
southeast  of  the  Chickahominy.  On  the  31st  of 
May,  Sheridan,  with  his  cavalry,  had  seized  and 
held  the  focus  of  these  roads,  on  which  the  6th 
corps,  moving  in  the  rear  from  our  right  to  our  left, 
was  immediately  directed,  reaching  it  next  day 
{June  I,)  just  before  Gen.  W.  F.  Smith,  with  10,000 
men  detached  from  Butler's  army  and  brought 
around  by  steamboats  to  White  House,  came  up  and 
took  position  on  the  right.  The  two  were  met  here 
by  an  order  from  Meade  to  advance  and  attack  the 
army  in  their  front,  with  a  view  to  forcing  a  passage 
of  the  Chickahominy.  The  attempt  was  made,  re- 
sulting as  we  have  described  above.  Night  fell  with 
the  rebels  still  in  possession  of  their  works,  our  ad- 


vance holding  and  bivouacking  on  the  ground  it  had 
gained  at  a  cost  of  2,000  killed  and  wounded.  The 
main  body  of  the  army  having  arrived  the  day  fol- 
lowing, and  Grant  and  Meade  being  now  at  Cold 
Harbor,  it  was  resolved  that  the  rebel  lines  should 
be  forced  on  the  morrow.  The  two  armies  held 
much  of  the  ground  covered  by  McClellan's  right 
under  Fitz-John  Porter,  prior  to  Lee's  bold  advance, 
nearly  two  years  before,  Gaines's  Mill  being 
directly  in  the  rear  of  the  confederate  center.  At 
sunrise  on  June  3,  the  assault  was  made  along  our 
whole  front  and  was  repulsed  by  the  enemy 
with  terrible  slaughter.  Twenty  minutes  after 
the  first  shot  was  fired,  fully  10,000  of  our  men 
were  stretched  writhing  on  the  sod,  or  still  and 
calm  in  death,  while  the  enemy's  loss  was  probably 
little  more  than  1,000  ;  and  when  some  hours  later 
orders  were  sent  by  Gen  Meade  to  each  corps  com- 
mander to  renew  the  assault  at  once,  the  men  sim- 
ply and  unanimously  refused  to  obey  it.  They 
knew  that  success  was  hopeless,  and  the  attempt  to 
gain  it  murderous  ;  hence  they  refused  to  be  sacri- 
ficed to  no  purpose.  Our  losses  in  and  around 
Cold  Harbor  were  13,153,  of  whom  1,705  were 
killed,  9,042  wounded,  and  2,406  missing.  Among 
these  were  quite  a  large  number  of  brigadier-gen- 
erals, colonels  and  field  and  line  officers. 

General  Grant  now  decided  to  cross  the  Chicka- 
hominy far  to  Lee's  right,  and  thence  move  across 
the  James  to  attack  Richmond  from  the  south. 
Having  established  his  headquarters  and  depot  of 
supplies  at  City  Point,  he  invested  Petersburg, 
destroyed  the  Weldon  railroad  and  gradually  tight- 
ened his  cordon  of  forces  around  the  rebel  defences 
of  Richmond.  Our  regiment  remained  in  the  army 
in  front  of  Petersburg  till  they  were  sent  with  the 
6th  corps  in  August,  1864,  to  Fort  Stevens,  at  Wash- 
ington, and  thence  with  Sheridan  upon  the  famous 
Shenandoah  Valley  campaign.  Sheridan  had  been 
sent,  August  2,  1864,  to  take  command  of  the 
Middle  Department,  including  Washington,  Mary- 
land, Pennsylvania  and  the  Shenandoah  Valley. 
The  battle  of  Winchester,  in  which  our  regiment 
and  the  6th  corps  were  engaged,  was  fought  August 
19.  "  I  saw,"  says  Gen.  Grant,  in  his  report,  "that 
but  two  words  of  instruction  were  necessary — '  Go 
in  !  '  "  So  he  gave  them,  and  Sheridan  went  in. 
The  rout  of  the  enemy  was  complete,  our  victorious 
army  following  till  dark,  close  upon  the  heels  of  the 
fugitive  foe,  gathering  up  prisoners  and  spoils  of 
war,  as  they  hurried  through  Winchester  in  utter 
rout  and  disintegration.  In  this  battle  our  army 
took  3,000  prisoners  and  five  guns,  and  our  loss  was 
about  3,000,  including  several  generals. 


ii6 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK 


Early  fell  back  to  Fislicr's  Hill,  eight  miles  south 
of  Winchester,  regarded  as  the  strongest  position 
in  the  Valley.  Sheridan  followed  sharply,  allowing 
but  two  days  to  intervene  between  his  first  and 
second  victory.  The  6th  corps  led  the  advance  on 
the  front,  and  the  I22d  Regiment  was  the  first  in  the 
enemy's  works,  where  the  vigorous  attack  broke  the 
rebel  center,  and  rendered  the  victory  even  more 
decisive  than  that  at  Winchester,  or  Opequan,  as  it 
is  more  commonly  called.  Here  our  army  took 
i,ioo  prisoners  and  l6  guns. 

At  Cedar  Creek  (October  i8i  our  regiment  was 
at  the  turning-point  of  the  battle,  first  turning  the 
enemy  back,  as  Sheridan,  in  his  famous  ride,  came 
up  behind  their  line.  In  this  engagement  we  lost 
about  3.000,  the  rebel  loss  being  still  heavier.  In 
fact.  Early's  force  was  virtually  destroyed,  so  that 
there  was  no  longer  occasion  for  further  fighting  in 
the  Valley.  Our  forces  were  afterwards  returned 
to  Petersburg. 

It  may  be  well  here  to  sum  up  the  losses  of  our 
regiment  during  the  year.  The  campaign  of  1864 
was  entered  upon  by  the  I22d  Regiment  with  26 
officers  and  400  enlisted  men  for  duty.  The 
casualties  for  the  year  were  26  among  the  officers 
and  318  among  the  enlisted  men.  No  one  day  of 
especial  disaster,  but  steady  service  all  the  lime  at 
the  front. 

March  25,  1865.  They  were  engaged  in  the 
afternoon  at  the  left  of  Squirrel  Level  Road,  Col. 
Dwight  being  killed  by  a  shell.  On  the  morning 
of  the  2d  of  April  they  were  in  the  storming 
brigade  which  broke  through  Lee's  lines,  having 
been  under  arms  all  night  and  on  the  picket  line  ; 
and  were  afterward  engaged  through  the  day  till  3 
o'clock,  p.  M.,  forcing  Lccback  into  Petersburg,  cut- 
ting oft'  the  South  Side  Railroad  and  compelling  the 
immediate  evacuation  of  Richmond.  They  followed 
in  the  pursuit  of  Lee's  army  to  its  surrender  at  Ap- 
pomattox Court  House,  and  after  two  days  rest,  had 
a  lively  march  to  Ikirksville,  where  they  remained  a 
week,  and  then  marched  in  four  days  and  a  half  to 
Danville,  to  stop  the  last  gap  on  Johnston's  army, 
now  in  the  clutches  of  Sherman.  After  a  month 
in  Danville,  they  returned  to  Richmond,  were  re- 
viewed through  its  streets  by  Gen.  Halleck.  and 
sent  thence  to  Washington,  where  the  6th  corps  was 
reviewed  by  itself  by  the  President.  Receiving  the 
orders  for  mustering  out  June  23.  they  started  the 
same  day  for  home,  and  were  finally  discharged 
June  27.  1865. 

Official  Record  of  the  1220  Regiment,  with 
List  of  Promotions. 

Silas  Titus,  Col.,  rank  from  Aug.  31,    1862,  dis- 


charged Jan.  23,  '65  ;  Augustus  W.  Dwight.  Lieut. 
Col.,  rank  from  Aug.  28, '62,  promoted  to  Col.  Feb. 
28,  '65,  killed  in  action  near  Petersburg,  Va.,  Mar. 
25,  '  65  :  Horace  H.  Walpole,  Capt.,  rank  from 
Aug.  15,  '62,  promoted  to  Lieut.  Col.  Feb.  28, 
'65,  mustered  out  June  23,  '65  ;  James  M.  Gere, 
Capt.,  rank  from  Aug.  15.  '62,  promoted  to  Lieut. 
Col.  April  22,  '65,  with  rank  from  March  25,  '65, 
(Brevet  Col.  N.Y.Vols.,  1  mustered  out  June  23,  '65  ; 
Joshua  \i.  Davis,  Major,  rank  from  Aug.  28,  '62, 
(Hrevct  Lieut.  Col  N.Y.Vols.,  1  discharged  Jan.  15, 
'64  ;  Jabez  M.  Brower,  Capt..  rank  from  Aug.  6, 
'62,  promoted  to  Major  Feb.  2,  '64.  killed  in  action 
Oct.  19.  '64;  Alonzo  H.  Clapp.  ist  Lieut.,  rank 
from  Aug.  6,  '62,  promoted  to  Capt.  Nov.  13.  '63, 
promoted  to  Major  Dec.  2,  '64,  died  June  23.  '65  ; 
Morton  L.  Marks,  1st  Lieut.,  rank  from  Aug.  15, 
62.  promoted  to  Capt.  Veb.  10.  '64.  to  Major.  Aug. 
2,  '65  ;  Andrew  J.  Smith,  Adjutant,  rank  from  July 
26, '62,  promoted  to  Capt.  Nov.  10.  '62,  1  Hrevet 
Major  and  Col.  of  U.  S.  V.,)  discharged  June  6, 
'65  ;  Morris  H.  Church,  Adjutant,  rank  from  Oct.  8, 
'62,  promoted  to  Capt.  Mar.  5,  '63,  discharged  Jan. 
15, '64;  Osgood  V.  Tracy,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from 
Dec.  3, '62,  promoted  to  Adjutant  Mar.  i. '63,  to 
Capt.,  Oct.  15,  '64,  mustered  out  June  23,  '65; 
Robert  H.  Moses,  Adjutant,  rank  from  Sept.  17, 
'64,  mustered  out  June  23.  '65  ;  P'rank  Lester. 
Quartermaster,  rank  from  July  24,  '62,  promoted  to 
Capt.  Jan.  14, '63,  discharged  Dec.  23, '64  ;  John 
S.  Cornue,  Quartermaster,  rank  from  Dec.  3.  '62, 
(Brevet  Capt.  and  Major  U.  S.  V.,>  mustered  out 
June  23.  '65  ;  Nathan  R.  Tefl't.  Surgeon,  rank  from 
July  24,  '62,  resigned  April  8,  '(54 ;  Edwin  A. 
Knapp.  Assistant-Surgeon,  rank  from  Aug.  19,  '62, 
promoted  to  Surgeon  May  27,  '64,  mustered  out 
June  23,  65  ;  John  O.  Slocum,  Assistant-Surgeon, 
rank  from  Aug.  14,  "62,  promoted  to  Surgeon  121st 
N.  Y.  Vols.,  July  I,  '63  ;  Charles  B.  Fry,  Assistant- 
Surgeon,  rank  from  July  30.  '63,  not  mustered; 
James  Sanders,  Jr.,  Assistant-Surgeon,  rank  from 
Sept.  30,  '64,  mustered  out  June  23,  '65  ;  L.  M. 
Nickerson,  Chaplain,  rank  from  Aug.  28,  '62,  mus- 
tered out  June  23,  '65  ;  Lucius  A.  Dillingham,  2d 
Lieut.,  rank  from  Aug.  16,  '62,  promoted  to  ist 
Lieut.,  Nov.  10,  '62,  to  Capt.  Feb.  10,  '64,  mus- 
tered  out   June  23,  '65  ;    Herbert    S.    Wells.    2d 

I  Lieut.,  rank  from  Aug.  6.  '62,  promoted  to 
1st  Lieut.,  Jan.  14,  '64,  to  Capt.  Sept.  30,  '64, 
(Brevet  Major  N.  Y.  V.  1  mustered  out  June  23, 
'64 ;  Webster  R.  Chamberlain,  Capt.,  rank  from 
Aug.  14,  '62,  resigned  P'eb.  24,  '63,  (Brevet  Major 
N.  Y.  V.)  David  A.  Munro.  ist  Lieut.,  rank  from 
Dec.  15,  '64,  promoted  to  Capt.,  Aug.  2,  '65  ;  Alfred 
Nims,  Capt.,  rank  from  Aug.  14.  '62,  resigned  Dec. 
23,  '62  ;  Stewart  McDonald,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from 
Aug.  I,  '64,  promoted  to  ist  Lieut.  Nov.  19,  '64,  to 
Capt,  Sept.  15,  '65  ;  Cornell  Chrysler,  Capt.,  rank 
from  Aug.  14,  '62.  discharged  Feb.  28.  '63  ;  Davis 
Cossitt.  1st  Lieut.,  rank  from  Aug.  14.  '62,  pro- 
moted to  Capt.  Mar.  5. '63.1  Brevet  AlajorN.  Y.  V.) 
discharged  Dec.  15.  '64;  Dudley  G.  Shirley.  2d 
Lieut.,  rank  from  Oct.  3. '63,  promoted  to  ist  Lieut. 

1  July  6.  '64.  discharged  Nov.  26,  '64;  Francis  Cala- 
han.  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Aug.  I.  '64,  promoted  to 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


117 


1st  Lieut.  Dec.  7,  '64,  to  Capt.  Jan.  17,  '65,  dis- 
charged May  15,  '65  ;  Joseph  S.  Smith,  2d  Lieut,, 
rank  from  Sept.  19,  '64,  promoted  to  ist  Lieut. 
Jan.  IS,  '65,  to  Capt.  June  16,  '65  ;  Samuel  P.  Car- 
rington,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Aug.  i,  '64,  pro- 
moted to  1st  Lieut.  Dec.  7,  '64,  to  Capt.  May 
II,  '65,  mustered  out  June  23,  '65  ;  Lucius  Moses, 
Capt.,  rank  from  Aug.  15, '62,  discharged  Feb.  24, 
'6^  ;  George  W.  Piatt,  ist  Lieut.,  rank  from  Aug. 
15,  '62,  promoted  to  Capt.  March  5,  '6^,  discharged 
Oct.  25, '64  ;  Edward  P.  Luther,  2d  Lieut.,  rank 
from  Aug.  14,  '62,  promoted  to  ist  Lieut.  Mar.  5, 
'62,  to  Capt.  Dec.  7,  '64,  (Brevet  Major,  N.  Y.  V.) 
discharged  Feb.  6,  '65  ;  Theodore  L.  Poole,  2d 
Lieut.,  rank  from  Mar.  i,  '63,  promoted  to  ist 
Lieut.  Feb.  10, '64,  to  Capt.  Feb.  15, '65,  with  rank 
from  Feb.  6,  '65,  (Brevet  Major,  N.  Y.  V.)  dis- 
charged May  15,  '65  ;  Charles  B.  Clark,  2d  Lieut., 
rank  from  July  28,  'St,,  promoted  to  1st  Lieut.  July 
8,  '64,  to  Capt.  March  8,  '65,  mustered  out  June  23, 
'65  ;  Harrison  H.  Jilson,  Capt.,  rank  from  Aug,  15, 
'62,  died  at  Relay  House,  Md.,  Oct.  8,  '62  ;  Robert 
H.  Moses,  1st  Lieut.,  rank  from  May  23,  '64,  pro- 
moted to  Capt.  Aug.  2,  '65  ;  Martin  Ryan,  ist 
Lieut.,  rank  from  Dec.  17,  '64,  promoted  to  Capt. 
March  25,  '65,  mustered  out  June  23,  '65  ;  John  M. 
D wight,  Capt.,  rank  from  Aug.  16,  '62,  (Brevet 
Major,  N.  Y.  V.)  discharged  Sept.  17,  '64  ;  Noah 
B.  Kent,  Capt,  rank  from  Aug.  19,  '62,  discharged 
Oct.  2,  '63  ;  Andrew  W.  Wilkin,  2d  Lieut.,  rank 
from  Dec.  3,  '62,  promoted  to  1st  Lieut.  Nov.  13, 
'63,  to  Capt.  Dec.  24,  '64,  (Brevet  Major,  N.  Y.  V.) 
mustered  out  June  23,  '65  ;  James  B.  Hall,  2d 
Lieut.,  rank  from  Mar.  6,  '63,  promoted  to  ist 
Lieut.,  July  4,  '63,  Capt.  Sept,  17,  '64,  discharged 
Jan.  8,  '65  ;  George  H.  Gilbert,  2d  Lieut.,  rank 
from  Feb.  9,  '6^,  promoted  to  ist  Lieut.  Oct.  24, 
'6^,  (Brevet  Capt.,  N.  Y.  V.)  discharged  May  24, 
'64;  Francis  M.  Potter,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Aug. 
I,  '64,  promoted  to  ist  Lieut.  Sept  19,  '64,  muster 
revoked  Feb.  9,  '65  ;  Samuel  C.  Trowbridge,  2d 
Lieut.,  rank  from  Aug.  i,  '64,  promoted  to  ist 
Lieut.,  Feb.  28,  '65,  (Brevet  Capt.,  N.  Y.  V.) 
mustered  out  June  23,  '65  ;  Charles  G.  Nye,  ist 
Lieut.,  rank  from  Aug.  14,  '62,  resigned  Feb.  10, 
'63;  William  Webb,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Aug.  14, 
'62,  promoted  to  ist  Lieut.  Feb.  25,  '6^  ;  Francis 
M.  Wooster,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Aug.  19,  '62, 
promoted  to  ist  Lieut.  Mar.  5,  1S63, killed  in  action 
at  Cold  Harbor,  Va.,  June  i,  '64  ;  Amasa  Chase, 
2d  Lieut ,  rank  from  Sept.  19,  '62,  promoted  to  ist 
Lieut.  Mar.  6,  '65,  mustered  out  June  23,  '65  ; 
Joseph  E.  Cameron,  ist  Lieut.,  rank  from  Aug.  14, 
'62,  resigned  Dec.  3,  '62  ;  James  Burton,  2d  Lieut., 
rank  from  Aug.  15,  '62,  promoted  to  ist  Lieut.  Jan. 
I4,'63,  discharged  Sept.  19,  '6^  ;  Martin  L.Wilson,  2d 
Lieut.,  rank  from  Dec.  3,  '62,  promoted  to  ist  Lieut. 
Nov.  13,  '6^,  died  of  wounds  received  in  battle  of 
the  Wilderness,  June  19, '64 ;  John  V.  Simms,  2d 
Lieut.,  rank  from  Oct.  9,  '63,  promoted  to  1st  Lieut. 
July  8,  '64,  killed  in  action  near  Winchester,  Va., 
Sept.  19, '64  ;  Curtis  L.  Rich,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from 
Dec.  31, '64,  promoted  to  ist  Lieut,  June  16, '65, 
mustered  out  as  ist  Sergt.,  Co.  F,  June  23,  '65  ; 
Alexander  Tome,  2d    Lieut.,  rank  from    Mar.  25, 


'6s,  promoted  to  ist  Lieut.  June  23,  '6s,  mustered 
out  June  23,  '6s  ;  Michael  Donovan,  2d  Lieut, 
rank  from  Mar.  i,  '6s,  mustered  out  June  23,  '65  ; 
Jacob  Brand,  ist  Lieut.,  rank  from  Aug.  is,  '62, 
resigned  Feb.  i,  '64;  Henry  H.  Hoyt,  2d  Lieut, 
rank  from  Aug.  is,  '62,  promoted  to  1st  Lieut  May 
1 1, '63,  killed  near  Petersburg,  Va.,  June  21, '64; 
George  G.  Gilson,  2d  Lieut,  rank  from  June  21, 
'64,  promoted  to  1st  Lieut.  Dec.  30,  '64,  mustered 
out  June  23,  "es  ;  Guy  J.  Gotchis,  2d  Lieut,  rank 
from  Dec.  3, '62,  promoted  to  ist  Lieut.  Mar.  s, 
'63,  discharged  May  26,  '64;  Drayton  Eno,  1st 
Lieut.,  rank  from  Aug.  15,  '62,  resigned  Dec.  3, 
'62  ;  Adolph  Wilman,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Mar.  i, 
'63,  promoted  to  ist  Lieut.  Sept  3,  '63,  discharged 
July  7,  '64;  Hiram  A.  Britton,  2d  Lieut ,  rank  from 
Sept.  9,  '64,  promoted  to  ist  Lieut.  Feb.  is,  '6s, 
mustered  out  June  23,  '65  ;  Ruell  P.  Buzzell,  2d 
Lieut.,  rank  from  Sept.  3,  '64,  promoted  to  ist 
Lieut.  Feb.  15,  '6s,  mustered  out  June  23, '6s  ; 
Otto  W.  Parrisen,  ist  Lieut.,  rank  from  Jan.  15, 
'64.  discharged  Sept,  22,  '64  ;  Justin  Howard,  ist 
Lieut.,  rank  from  Aug.  19,  '62,  discharged  Oct.  4, 
'63  ;  Dennis  Murphy,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Feb.  6, 
'65,  promoted  to  1st  Lieut.  Mar.  25,  '65,  mustered 
out  June  23,  '65  ;  Merrick  C.  Smith,  2d  Lieut., 
rank  from  May  IS,  '6s,  mustered  out  June  23,  '6s  : 
George  A.  Wait,  2d  Lieut ,  rank  from  Oct  24,  '63, 
not  mustered;  Arthur  J.  Mead.  2d  Lieut.,  rank 
from  Aug.  14,  '62,  discharged  Sept.  29,  '63  ;  Wil- 
liam H.  La  Rue,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Dec.  29,  '62, 
discharged  Sept.  29,  '63 ;  John  W.  Taylor,  2d 
Lieut.,  rank  from  Mar.  i,  '6^  ;  discharged  Oct.  11, 
'63  ;  Charles  W.  Ostrander,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from 
May  2S, '63,  (Brevet  ist  Lieut.,  N.  Y.  V.,)  dis- 
charged Mar.  10, '6s  ;  Charles  A.  Eaton,  2d  Lieut., 
rank  from  Mar.  10.  '6s,  mustered  out  June  23,  '6s  ; 
George  E.  P'isher,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  June  20,  '6s; 
mustered  out  June  23,  '6s ;  Geo.  H.  Devoe,  2d  Lieut., 
rank  from  Feb.  6,  '6s,  mustered  out  June  23, '6s  ;  Thos. 
H.  Scott,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Feb.  6,  '6s,  mus- 
tered out  June  23,  '6s  ;  Charles  H.  Eldridge,  2d 
Lieut.,  rank  from  March  6,  '6s,  mustered  out  June 
23,  '65  ;  Gates  D.  Parish,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from 
Dec.  31,  '64,  mustered  out  June  23,  '6s  ;  Robert 
Ealdon,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  June  20,  '63,  mustered 
out  June  23,  '6s  ;  Peter  A.  Blossom,  2d  Lieut., 
rank  from  Aug.  13,  '62,  resigned  Dec.  3,  '62  ;  Mor- 
ris E.  Wright  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Mar.  i,  '63,  dis- 
charged Sept.  28,  '63  ;  Oscar  F.  Swift,  2d  Lieut., 
rank  from  Aug.  13,  '62,  resigned  Dec.  3,  '62  ;  Wil- 
liam G,  Tracy,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Nov.  3,  '62, 
discharged  July  28,  '63  ;  Daniel  F.  Hammell,  2d 
Lieut.,  rank  from  Aug.  i,  '64,  discharged  May  31, 
'6s  ;  George  H.  Casler,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Feb. 
6,  '6s,  mustered  out  June  23,  '65. 

The  Fifteenth  Cavalrv. 
The  isth  New  York  Cavalry  was  organized  at 
Syracuse,  to  serve  three  years.  The  companies  of 
which  it  was  composed  were  raised  in  the  coun- 
ties of  Onondaga,  Ontario,  Orange,  Oneida, 
Chautauqua,  Cattaraugus,  Genesee,  Erie  and  Tomp- 
kins.    It   was   mustered   into   the   service   of  the 


ii8 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


United  States  from  August  8.  1863,  to  January  14, 
1864.  It  was  consolidated  with  the  6th  New  York 
Cavalry,  June  17,  1865,  and  the  consolidated  force 
designated  the  2d  New  York  Provisional  Cavalry. 
The  following  are  the  dates  of  the  mustering  in  of 
the  respective  companies : 

Co.  A— Michael  Auer,  Capt..  Aug.  8,  1863 

Co.  B— Thomas  G.  Putnam,  Capt.,  Aug.  8,  1863. 

Co.  C— Jcttcrson  C.  Higclow,  Capt..  Aug.  8.  1863. 

Co.  D — Orson  R.  Colgrove,  Capt.,  Aug.  26,  1863. 

Co.  E— George  M.  Kilicott.  Capt.,  Aug.  15.  1863. 

Co.  F— L.    F.   Hathaway,  Capt.,  Aug.  26,  1863. 

Co.  G— Wallis  M.    Hoycr,  Capt.,  Aug.  26.  1863. 

Co.  H— John  F.   Moshell,  Capt.,  Sept.   5.  1863. 

Co.  I — Scth  J.  Steve,  Capt ,  Nov.  30.  1863. 

Co.  K— John  S   Hicks,  Capt.,  Oct    15.1863. 

Co.  L — Marshall  M.  Loydcn,  Capt,  Jan.  20,  1864. 

This  regiment  was  an  important  one  to  Onondaga 
county  and  the  city  of  Syracuse,  inasmuch  as  it 
saved  the  draft  pending  in  1863.  It  was  slow  in 
being  made  up,  but  late  in  the  year  Col.  Richard- 
son succeeded  in  securing  an  order  from  the  War 
Department  granting  a  bounty  of  S300  to  each  en- 
listed man,  which  had  the  effect  to  secure  the  quota 
required  and  save  the  draft,  which  had  been  or- 
dered, from  being  executed.  The  rolls  were  sent 
in  to  the  War  Department, and  upon  their  examina- 
tion it  was  found  that  the  quota  of  the  district  was 
full,  and  an  order  was  immediately  sent  for  the 
draft  to  be  stopped. 

The  officers  of  the  15th  Cavalry  from  Onondaga 
county  were : 

Robert  M.  Richardson,  Col.,  rank  from  Jan.  6. 
'64,  resigned  Jan.  19.  '65  ;  Augustus  J.  Root, 
Lieut-Col.,  rank  from  Sept.  16. '63,  killed  in  action 
April  8,  '65;  Michael  Auer.  Capt.,  rank  from  July  24, 
'63,  promoted  to  Major  Nov.  9,  "64,  discharged  Mar. 
6,  '65  ;  J.  H.  Wood,  Major,  rank  from  Sept.  16, '63. 
discharged  April  14, '65;  F.  Mann,  Adjutant,  rank 
from  May  22,  '64,  discharged  by  reason  of  consoli- 
dation, June  17.  '65  ;  Edward  R.  Trull,  Quarter- 
master, rank  from  June  12,  '63,  discharged  by  rea- 
son of  consolidation,  June  17,  '65  ;  Isaac  O.  Fill- 
more. Chaplain,  rank  from  April  25,  '64,  not  mus- 
tered ;  Thomas  G.  Putnam,  Capt.,  rank  from  July 
30.  '63.  discharged  by  reason  of  consolidation.  June 
17.  '65;  Jefferson  C.  Higelow.  Capt..  rank  from 
Aug.  30.  '63,  discharged  bv  reason  of  consolidation, 
June  17. '65;  George  N.  Truesdell.  ist  Lieut.,  rank 
from  Jan.  6,  '64,  promoted  to  Capt.  June  17,  '65, 
with  rank  from  May  8,  '65  ;  Orson  R.  Colgrove,  2d 
Lieut.,  rank  from  July  30,  "63,  promoted  to  Capt. 
Nov.  30,  '63,  mustered  out  on  exijjration  ol  service, 
Dec.  24,  "64  ;  Charles  G.  Hampton,  2d  Lieut.,  rank 
from  Oct.  5, '63,  promoted  to  Capt.  April  11,  '65, 
with  rank  from  Feb.  13,  '65,  discharged  by  reason 
of  consolidation,  June  17,  '65  ;  George  M.  Eliicott, 
Capt.,  rank  from  Aug.  13, '63,  promoted  to  Major, 
June  17.  '65,  with  rank  from  June  9. '65,  discharged 
by  reason  of  consolidation,  June  17,  '65  ;  Cortland 


Clark,  Commissary, rank  from  Jan.  6.  '64,  discharged 
by  reason  of  consolidation,  June  17,  '65  ;  Burritt  N. 
Hurd,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Sept.  5, '63.  promoted  to 
1st  Lieut.  Dec.  29,  1863.  promoted  to  Capt.  Nov.  9, 
'64,  mustered  out  on  expiration  of  term  of  service, 
Dec.  12,  '64  ;  John  F.  Moshell,  Capt.,  rank  from 
Sept.  5,  '63,  transferred  to  2d  Provisional  Cavalry, 
June  17,  '05  ;  William  F.  Weller,  ist  Lieut.,  rank 
from  Dec.  26.  '63,  promoted  to  Capt.  June  17.  '65, 
with  rank  from  June  8.  '65.  transferred  to  2d  Provi- 
sional Cavalry  June  17.  '65  ;  Joseph  LaBeff.  ist 
Lieut.,  rank  from  July  24,  '6},  discharged  Nov,  30, 
'63  ;  Edgar  N.  Johnson,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Nov. 
9,  '64.  promoted  to  ist  Lieut.  Feb.  15.  '65.  di»- 
charged  by  reason  of  consolidation  June  17,  '6$  ; 
William  P.  Shearer,  ist  Lieut .  rank  from  July  30, 
'63,  missing  since  Oct.  30.  '64  ;  William  Stanton, 
2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Oct  14,  '64,  promoted  to  ist 
Lieut.  Feb.  15,  '65;  Edgar  L  Miller,  2d  Lieut., 
rank  from  Oct.  14,  '64,  promoted  to  ist  Lieut.  Mar. 
9, '65,  transferred  to  2d  Provisional  Cavalry.  June 
'7>  ^5  ;  Joseph  Herron,  ist  Lieut.,  rank  from  Sept. 
5.  '63.  discharged  Dec.  28,  '63  ;  Edward  Pointer, 
2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Feb.  12, '65,  transferred  to  2d 
Provisional  Cavalry,  June  17,  '65  ;  Lorenzo  Hatch, 
2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Oct.  14.  '64.  killed  in  action; 
James  Holahan,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Feb.  12,  '65, 
transferred  to  2d  Provisional  Cavalry.  June  17.  "65  ; 
John  W.  F^razer.  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Mar.  25.  '65, 
discharged  June  28.  '65  ;  John  Gallagher,  2(1  Lieut., 
rank  from  Feb.  12, '65,  transferred  to  2d  Provisional 
Cavalry  June  17, '65  ;  Levi  Kraft,  2d  Lieut.,  rank 
from  Oct.  5, '63,  discharged  Dec.  11,  '63;  Peter 
Boehm,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Mar.  3,  '6^,  discharged 
by  reason  of  consolidation,  June  17,  '65  ;  Anthony 
Dever  and  Emory  Ornisby,  2cl  Lieuts.,  on  records 
of  War  Department,  not  commissioned. 

The  isth  Cavalry  participated  in  the  following 
battles  and  engagements  :  Lynchburg,  (  Hunter's 
raid)  1864;  New  Market,  (under  Sigel)  1864; 
Winchester,  July  10,  1864;  Piedmont  (near  Stan- 
ton) ;  capture  of  Martinsburg,  and  the  series  of 
battles  about  Petersburg,  resulting  in  the  capture 
of  Lee's  Army. 

CHAPTER  XXVII. 

The  One  Hundred  and  Fortv-Ninth  New 
York  Volunteeks— Okganization — Camp  at 
Bolivar  Heights — Chancellorsville— Get- 
TvsuuRG  —  Losses  of  the  Regiment — Last 
E.xpekience  in  the  Army  of  the  Potomac. 

THE  One  Hundred  and  Forty-Ninth  New 
York  Volunteer  Infantry  was  a  full 
regiment  of  Onondaga  County  men,  organized  at 
Syracuse,  and  mustered  into  the  United  States  ser- 
vice September  18,1862.  Henry  A.  Barnum,  for- 
merly Major  of  the  Twelfth  New  York,  was  Colo- 
nel ;  John  M.  Strong,  Lieutenant-Colonel ;  Abel 
G.   Cook,  Major;  Walter  M.  Dallman,  Adjutant; 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


119 


Moses  Summers,  Quartermaster  ;  James  V.  Ken- 
dall, Surgeon  ;  Horace  Nims,  Assistant  Surgeon  ; 
and  Rev.  Arvine  C.  Bowdish,  Chaplain.  The  com- 
panies were  organized  under  the  following  line 
officers  :  Company  A — Solomon  Light,  Captain  ; 
Samuel  Bonner,  ist  Lieutenant;  Mathevv  West- 
cott,  2d  Lieutenant.  Company  B — Nicholas  Grum- 
bach.  Captain;  Philip  Eckel,  ist  Lieutenant ;' Ja- 
cob Knapp,  2d  Lieutenant.  Company  C — James 
Lynch,  Jr.,  Captain  ;  Edward  D.  Murray,  ist  Lieu- 
tenant ;  William  Savage,  2d  Lieutenant.  Company 
D — J.  Forman  Wilkinson,  Captain  ;  Park  Wheeler, 
ist  Lieutenant  ;  William  M.  Mosely,  2d  Lieuten- 
ant. Company  E — Ira  B  Seymour,  Captain  ;  Or- 
son Coville,  1st  Lieutenant;  Edward  F.  Hopkins, 
2d  Lieutenant  Company  F — Judson  H.  Graves, 
Captain  ;  Henry  H.  Burhans,  ist  Lieutenant ;  The- 
odore E.  Stevens,  2d  Lieutenant.  Company  G — 
E.  G.  Townsend,  Captain  ;  Byron  A.  Wood,  ist 
Lieutenant ;  Thomas  A.  Benedict,  2d  Lieutenant. 
Company  H — Robert  E.  Hopkins,  Captain  ;  Ohio 
L.  Palmer,  ist  Lieutenant;  Thomas  Merriam,  2d 
Lieutenant.  Company  I — David  J.  Lindsay,  Cap- 
tain ;  George  K.  Collins,  ist  Lieutenant  ;  John  T. 
Bon,  2d  Lieutenant.  Company  K — James  E.  Do- 
ren,  Captain  ;  John  Van  Wie,  1st  Lieutenant  ; 
Benjamin  F.  Breed,  2d  Lieutenant. 

Company  A,  of  this  regiment,  was  composed  of 
Jewish  citizens,  organized  in  the  Synagogue  ;  Com- 
pany B  was  a  solid  German  company,  and  Com- 
pany C  consisted  of  Irish,  with  but  few  exceptions. 
At  the  time  of  its  organization.  Col.  Barnum  lay 
wounded  at  his  home  in  the  city,  having  been  shot 
through  the  hip  by  a  rifle  ball  while  doing  gallant 
service  as  Major  of  the  Twelfth  Regiment  at  the 
battle  of  Malvern  Hill.  He  was,  however,  elected 
Colonel  of  the  Hundred  and  Forty-Ninth,  and 
joined  his  regiment  at  Fairfax  in  Januaiy,  1863. 

On  the  23d  of  September,  1862,  the  Hundred 
and  Forty-Ninth  regiment  left  Camp  White,  at 
Syracuse,  «i  rojite  for  the  general  rendezvous  at  the 
National  Capital ;  whence  they  were  ordered  to 
Harper's  Ferry  via  Frederick  city,  and  occupied  a 
camp  in  Pleasant  Valley  till  about  the  30th  of  Oc- 
tober. No  incident  of  importance  occurred  while 
here  except  an  expedition  a  few  miles  down  the 
river  to  Knoxville,  and  the  loss  of  about  forty  men 
who  enlisted  in  an  Engineer  regiment  encamped  in 
the  vicinity.  On  the  31st  of  October  they  were 
ordered  to  Louden  Valley,  where  they  remained  long 
enough  to  construct  comfortable  quarters,  but  were 
not  permitted  to  enjoy  them,  being  soon  ordered  to 
Bolivar  Heights,  at  Harper's  Ferry,  where  they 
remained   till  Dec.    lOth,   relieving  the  monotony 


of  camp  life  by  two  raids  towards  Charlestown  and 
Winchester,  and  taking  their  first  lessons  in  those 
foraging  expeditions  for  which  the  regiment  sub- 
sequently became  famous. 

In  the  absence  of  Colonel  Barnum,  Lieutenant- 
Colonel  Strong  had  command  of  the  regiment,  but 
here  the  latter  was  obliged  to  resign  in  con- 
sequence of  a  dangerous  illness,  and  the  command 
devolved  upon  Major  Cook,  a  youthful  yet  energetic 
and  competent  officer  ;  the  regiment  was  attached 
to  General  Geary's  division,  and  assumed  the  white 
star  as  its  emblem  of  military  glory.  December 
10,  in  the  depth  of  a  Virginia  winter,  they  broke 
camp  at  Bolivar  Heights,  and  marched  to  Fairfax 
Station.  The  Quartermaster,  who  was  also  the 
scribe  of  the  regiment  and  who  has  furnished  the 
materials  for  this  history  of  the  149th,  refers  to  one 
or  two  expeditions  from  camp  at  this  point  towards 
Dumfries,  speaking  of  it  as  "  a  locality  which  calls 
up  vivid  recollections  of  an  ocean  of  mud  and  the 
hardest  kind  of  fare."  After  spending  a  dismal 
Christmas  and  New  Year's  in  this  fearfully  muddy 
region,  on  the  28th  of  January,  they  marched 
through  the  memorable  Dumfries  mud  to  Aquia 
Creek  where  the  regiment  was  comfortably  quar- 
tered in  an  old  camp  just  vacated  by  a  German 
regiment  of  engineers.  The  camp  here  was  beau- 
tifully located  and  a  little  labor  soon  sufficed  to 
make  it  a  model  of  neatness  and  taste.  But  the 
place  was  unhealthy  ;  fever  soon  broke  out  in  the 
camp  and  the  ranks  were  rapidly  thinned  by  its 
ravages.  On  the  15th  of  February  the  regiment 
moved  to  a  more  healthy  location  at  Brook's  Sta- 
tion, where  it  remained  till  the  stirring  events  of 
Chancellorsville  called  them  from  camp  life  and 
idleness  to  meet  the  enemy,  on  a  field  which 
though  hotly  contested,  was  disastrous  to  the 
regiment  and  the  Union  cause.  They  broke  camp 
and  marched  towards  Chancellorsville  on  the  9th  of 
April,  1863.  The  battles  in  and  about  Chancellors- 
ville were  fought  on  May  2d,  3d,  4th  and  5th,  1863, 
the  heaviest  engagement  being  on  Sunday,  May  3d. 
The  Union  forces  met  with  a  severe  defeat,  and  the 
149th  suffered  their  share  of  the  disaster. 

On  Sunday,  May  3,  in  the  great  battle  in  which 
Slocum's  corps  ( 1 2th)  was  engaged,  nearly  4,000  of 
his  men  were  disabled,  including  three  of  his 
division  commanders  ;  Berry  and  Whipple  killed, 
and  Gen.  Mott  of  the  New  Jersey  brigade  wounded. 
Says  Greeley,  "  the  ground  was  lost  by  misfortune 
or  bad  generalship,  not  by  lack  of  valor  or  endur- 
ance in  our  soldiers."  As  an  evidence  of  this,  on 
Saturday,  May  2d,  Pleasanton,  in  order  to  gain 
time  to  get  his  batteries  in  readiness  to  sweep  the 


I20 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


on-rushing  masses  of  the  rebels,  ordered  Major 
Keenan,  of  the  8lh  Pennsylvania,  to  charge  into 
the  woods  at  whatever  cost.  "  I  will,"  was  the 
calm,  smilinj;  reply,  althou};h  he  well  understood 
that  the  order  was  his  death-warrant.  Ten  minutes 
later  he  was  dead  and  a  large  part  of  his  regiment 
lay  bleeding  around  him.  But  this  gallant  action 
gave  the  artillery  time  to  get  in  readiness  and  to 
deal  death  and  destruction  into  the  rebel  ranks. 
In  front  of  these  batteries,  on  that  memorable  day, 
fell  Stonewall  Jackson  mortally  wounded.  His  loss 
was  the  greatest  yet  sustained  by  either  party  in 
the  fall  of  a  single  man. 

The  day  was  probably  lost  to  the  Union  army 
because  Gen.  Hooker  could  not  send  aid  to  Slo- 
cum,  he  having  been  stunned  by  a  rebel  shot  strik- 
ing the  "  Chancellorsvillc  House,"  against  which  he 
had  been  leaning,  so  that  when  the  message  came 
to  him  from  Gen.  Slocum  he  was  unconscious  and 
could  not  attend  to  it.  So  testified  Slocum  before 
the  Committee  on  the  Conduct  of  the  War. 

On  Monday,  the  4th  of  May,  in  the  forced  re- 
treat of  Sedgwick's  division,  about  5,000  men  were 
lost.  Hooker  gives  the  total  loss  in  the  series  of 
battles  while  across  the  Rappahannock  at  no  less 
than  17,197  men,  as  follows: 

Sedgwick's  (6th)  Corps 4.601 

Slocum's  ( 12th)         "     2,883 

Couchs'(2d)             "     2,025 

Reynolds' ( 1st)         "     292 

Sickles' (3d)  "     -4.039 

Howard's  (nth)       "     2,508 

Meade's  (5th)           "     699 

Cavalry,  &c 150 

The  rebel  loss  was  18,000 — Gen.  Pa.xton  killed 
and  Gen.  Heth  wounded. 

In  these  severe  battles  the  149th  participated, 
receiving  its  first  baptism  of  blood,  which  conse- 
crated it  to  the  national  cause  thenceforth  to  the 
close  of  the  war. 

Major  Cook  was  severely  wounded  in  the  foot  and 
the  command  devolved  upon  Captain  May,  who  had 
recently  been  transferred  to  the  149th  from  the  old 
1 2th  regiment.  He  was  a  gallant  officer,  and  assum- 
ing command  in  an  emergency,  proved  himself  fully 
competent. 

The  regiment  returned  to  its  old  camp  at  Aquia 
Creek.  It  soon  received  orders  to  remove  to  a  posi- 
tion near  Falmouth,  but  the  order  was  immediately 
changed  to  a  lively  pursuit  of  Lee,  who,  meantime, 
had  invaded  Maryland  and  Pennsylvania.  Marching 
over  their  old  track  through  Dumfries,  P'airfax, 
Leesburg,  Frederick  City,  and  other  well  known 
localities,  they  at  length  encountered  the  enemy  at 
Gettysburg,  on  the  borders  of  Pennsylvania,  where 


one  of  the  most  sanguinary  battles  of  the  war  was 
fought. 

Gettysburg. — The  engagements  began  on  the 
1st  of  July  and  lasted  till  the  3d.  Gen.  Huford, 
with  a  division,  arrived  first  at  Gettysburg  June  30, 
and  encountered  the  van  of  the  rebel  army,  under 
Gen.  Heth,  of  Hill's  corps  ;  the  rebels  were  driven 
back  on  the  division,  and  in  turn  drove  our  forces. 
At  this  moment  the  advance  division  of  Reynolds 
(isti  corps,  under  Gen.  J.  S.  Wadsworth,  coming 
in  from  Emmitsburg,  at  the  familiar  sound  of  vol- 
leys, quickened  their  pace,  and  rushing  through  the 
village  drove  back  the  rebel  van,  seizing  and  occu- 
pying the  ridge  that  overlooks  the  place  from  the 
northwest.  Gen.  John  F.  Reynolds  arrived  with 
22,000  men,  ist  and  i  ith  army  corps  ;  while  Wads- 
worth  was  forming  his  advance  division,  4,000 
strong,  Reynolds  went  forward  to  reconnoiter  and 
was  shot  by  a  rebel  sharp-shooter.  Gen.  Doubleday, 
arriving  half  an  hour  later,  assumed  command,  fall- 
ing back  and  occupying  Seminary  Ridge,  just  west 
of  the  village,  where  the  ist  and  nth  army  corps 
were  soon  drawn  up  in  line  of  battle.  Howard, 
ranking  Doubleday,  assumed  command,  assigning 
the  nth  corps  to  Schurz.  Here  the  struggle  was 
renewed  with  great  spirit,  our  men  having  the  bet- 
ter position  and  the  best  of  the  fight.  At  i  o'clock 
p.  M.  Ewell's  corps  came  rapidly  into  the  battle, 
arriving  from  York,  Rhode's  division  assailing  the 
I  Ith  corps  in  front,  while  Early's  struck  hard  on  its 
right  flank.  The  corps  were  outnumbered  and  put 
to  rout,  falling  back  in  disorder  to  Gettysburg, 
under  heavy  rebel  fire,  mingling  and  obstructing 
each  other  in  horrid  confusion  in  the  streets.  The 
debris  of  these  two  corps,  which  half  an  hour  before 
marched  proudly  through  the  streets,  now  fell  back 
with  scarcely  half  their  number  to  Cemetery  Hill, 
leaving  their  dead  and  wounded  in  the  hands  of  the 
enemy.  Thus  ended  the  first  day's  fight,  July  i, 
the  rebels  not  seeking  to  renew  the  contest. 

During  this  engagement  Meade  was  at  Taney- 
town,  ten  miles  away,  and  did  not  hear  of  the  battle 
or  the  death  of  Gen.  Reynolds  till  i  p.  m.  He 
immediately  sent  Gen.  Hancock  to  command,  or- 
dering him  to  turn  over  his  (2d)  corps  to  Gibbon. 
Hancock  arrived  on  the  field  just  as  the  broken  ist 
and  nth  were  retreating  in  wild  disorder  through 
the  village,  hotly  pursued  by  the  triumphant  foe. 

The  149th,  in  Geary's  division  of  Slocum's  (12th) 
corps,  was  in  advance  and  reached  Gettysburg  soon 
after  Gen.  Hancock.  Slocum,  outranking  Hancock, 
assumed  the  chief  command. 

During  the  night  our  army  was  all  concentrated 
before  Gettysburg,  e.xcept  Sedgwick's  (6th)  corps, 


41 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


121 


(15,400  Strong)  which  was  at  Manchester,  30  miles 
distant.  Meade,  in  view  of  this  fact,  and  because 
the  rebels  were  in  full  force,  resolved  upon  fighting 
only  a  defensive  battle.  The  line  was  drawn  up  in 
the  following  order:  The  12th  corps  (General 
Slocum's)  held  our  extreme  right,  facing  Johnson's 
division  of  Ewell's  corps,  which  had  been  recently 
strengthened  by  Lockwood's  Marylanders,  2,500 
strong,  raising  it  to  a  little  over  10,000  men  ; 
Sickles'  (3d)  corps  held  the  left,  opposite  Longstreet, 
supported  by  the  5  th  (Sykes's),  with  Hancock's 
(2d)  in  our  center,  touching  its  right ;  what  was  left 
of  Howard's  (nth),  reenforced  by  2,000  Vermont- 
ers  under  Stannard,  and  Reynold's  (ist),  now 
Doubleday's  corps,  held  the  face  of  Cemetery  Hill 
looking  towards  Gettysburg  and  Early's  division, 
but  menaced  also  by  Johnson's  division  on  the 
right,  and  by  Hill's  corps,  facing  the  left. 

The  battle  of  the  2d  was  brought  on  by  the 
temerity  of  Gen.  Sickles,  who  in  his  eagerness  to 
fight,  had  thrown  forward  his  corps  from  half  to 
three-quarters  of  a  mile  in  the  immediate  presence 
of  half  the  rebel  army.  Meade  remonstrated  ;  but 
before  the  mistake  could  be  remedied,  Lee,  seeing 
the  advantage,  ordered  Longstreet  to  attack  Sickles 
with  all  his  might,  while  Ewell  should  assail 
Slocum,  and  Hill,  facing  the  apex  of  our 
position,  should  only  menace,  unless  our  troops 
should  be  withdrawn  to  reenforce  either  the  left  or 
the  right,  in  which  case  he  should  charge  through 
our  line.  The  position  which  Sickles  had  taken 
was  commanded  by  the  rebel  batteries  posted  on 
Seminary  Hill  in  front,  and  scarcely  half  a  mile  dis- 
tant. At  the  order  to  attack,  a  line  of  battle  a 
mile  and  a  half  long  swept  up  to  his  front  and 
flanks,  crushing  him  back  with  heavy  loss,  and 
struggling  desperately  to  seize  Round  Top,  a  hill 
to  his  left  which  Meade  regarded  as  vital  to  the 
situation.  A  fierce  and  bloody  struggle  ensued, 
Humphreys,  on  the  right  of  Sickles,  with  one  of 
Sykes's  divisions,  being  attacked  in  front  and  flank 
and  beaten  back  with  a  loss  of  2,000  out  of  5,000 
men.  A  division  of  the  12th  corps  was  thrown  in 
on  the  enemy's  front,  which  turned  the  scale  ;  they, 
in  turn,  were  repulsed  with  heavy  loss,  falling  back 
to  their  original  position  and  leaving  our  line  as 
Meade  had  intended  to  place  it.  Meanwhile,  the 
withdrawal  of  a  division  from  Slocum  had  enabled 
Ewell  to  attack  our  right  wing  with  a  superior  force, 
but  he  gained  no  decided  advantage,  only  crowding 
a  part  of  the  line  back  and  seizing  a  few  rifle-pits. 
So  ended  the  day  of  the  second  of  July. 

Night  closed  with   the  rebels  decidedly  encour- 
aged and  confident.     Of  the  seven  corps  composing 
16* 


our  army,  three  had  been  severely  handled.  At 
least  half  their  effective  strength  had  been  demol- 
ished. Reynolds,  commanding  the  1st,  and  Brig. 
Gen.  Zook,  of  Sickles'  corps,  had  been  killed; 
Sickles,  of  the  3d,  had  had  his  leg  shattered  with 
a  cannon  ball,  and  was  out  of  the  fight ;  our  total 
losses  up  to  this  hour  were  scarcely  less  than 
20,000  men  ;  and  none  were  arriving  to  replace 
them.  They  had  suffered  heavily,  but  had  reason 
for  the  hope  that  to-morrow's  triumphs  would 
richly  repay  all  their  losses. 

The  battle  opened  July  3d,  on  our  right ;  the 
division  sent  to  relieve  Sickles'  corps,  having  re- 
turned, Slocum  pushed  forward  to  retake  his  lost 
rifle-pits,  and  did  it  after  a  sharp  conflict.  Both 
sides  were  reenforced,  the  rebels  with  three  fresh 
brigades  under  Pickett,*  and  our  side  by  the  ar- 
rival of  Sedgwick's  corps.  Every  preparation  was 
made  for  the  grand  decisive  battle. 

The  battle  of  the  3d  of  July  opened  with  the 
most  brilliant  artillery  duel  on  record.  The  rebels 
had  massed  a  battery  of  1 15  heavy  guns  on  the  hill 
in  front  of  the  centre  of  their  line,  and  on  Cemetery 
Hill,  in  front  of  Meade's  headquarters,  the  Union 
artillery  numbering  about  100  guns  was  stationed; 
and  all  was  in  readiness  for  action.  "There  was  a 
pause  of  anxious  expectation,  fitfully  broken  by 
spirts  of  firing  here  and  there,  while  the  rebels  were 
finishing  their  preparation  for  the  supreme  effort 
which  was  to  decide  this  momentous  contest."  At 
length  at  i  p.  m.,  the  signal  was  given  and  the  bat- 
teries on  the  rebel  side  opened  their  throats  of  fire  ; 
for  nearly  two  hours  the  hill,  just  over  the  crest  of 
which  was  Meade's  headquarters,  was  gashed  and 
seamed  by  round-shot  and  torn  by  bursting  shells, 
while  100  guns  from  our  side  made  fit  reply.  Gen. 
Doubleday  said  in  his  testimony  before  the  Com- 
mittee on  the  Conduct  of  the  War  :  "They  had 
our  exact  range,  and  the  destruction  was  fearful. 
Horses  were  killed  in  every  direction  *  *  and 
quite  a  number  of  caissons  were  blown  up."  This 
cannonading  was  but  the  prelude  to  a  grand  in- 
fantry charge,  and  was  designed  by  the  rebels  to 
disorganize  the  opposing  forces.  Our  side  was 
ready  for  it;  our  infantry,  according  to  orders, 
crouched  behind  every  projection  and  lay  concealed 
in  every  hollow,  awaiting  the  onset,  when  they 
should  spring  up  at  the  right  moment  to  meet  the 
advancing  columns  of  the  enemy.  The  signal  was 
given,  and  from  behind  the  rebel  batteries  emerged 
columns  of  infantry  in  line  of  battle  three  or  four 
miles  in  length,  preceded  by  a  cloud  of  skirmishers 
and  supported  by  lines  of  reserves.     On  they  came 

*   See   122d  Regiment. 


122 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK 


swiftly   to   the   charge,  directing  their  main  force 
against    Hancock's  center  and   in  the  direction  of 
our  batteries,  and  upon  the  entire  front  westward  to 
Round  Top.     The  charge  was  made  in  three  lines 
with  additional    lines   called   wings,   the  object  of 
which  was  to  prevent  the  main  force  from  being 
flanked.     They    came    with  such  resistless  sweep 
that    in    some    places    they     seemed    to    lift    up 
and  push  back  our  lines.     Hancock  was  wounded. 
Gibbon  succeeding  to  the  command.     Ikave  officer  ! 
As  the   tempest  of  fire  approached  its  height,  he 
walked  along  the  line  and  renewed  his  orders  to  his 
men  to  reserve  their  fire.     The  rebels,  three  lines 
deep,  came  steadily  up.     They  were  in  point  blank 
range.     At  last  the  order  came  !     From  thrice  si.x 
thousand  guns  there  came  a  sheet  of  smoky  flame, 
a  crash,  a  rush  of  leaden  death.     The  line  literally 
melted  away,  but  there  came  the  second,  resistless 
still.     The  instant  was  too  brief  to  allow  our  men 
to  gather  themselves  for   a  second  effort,  and  on 
came  the  sweeping  torrent !     Up  to  the  rifle-pits, 
across  them,  over  the  barricades,  the  momentum  of 
the  charge,  the  mere  machine-like  strength  of  their 
combined  action,  swept  them  on.     They  were  upon 
the  guns,  were  bayoneting  the  gunners,  were  wav- 
ing their  flags  above  our  pieces.     But  they  had 
penetrated  to  the  fatal  point.     A  storm  of  grape 
and  cannister  tore  its  way   from  man   to  man,  and 
marked  its  track  with  corses  straight  down  their 
line.     They  hail  exposed  themselves  to  the  enfilad- 
ing   fire   of    the   guns   on    the    western    slope   of 
Cemetery  Hill,  and  that  exposure  sealed  their  fate. 
The  line  reeled  back,  disjointed,  and   in  an  instant 
was  in  fragments.     Our  men  were  just  behind  the 
guns.     They  leaped  forward  upon   the  disordered 
mass  ;  but  there  was  little  need  for  fighting  now.     A 
regiment  threw  down  its  arms,  and,  with  colors  at  its 
head,  rushed  over  and  surrendered.     All  along  the 
field  smaller  detachments  did    the  same.     Webb's 
brigaile  brought  in  800.  taken  in  as  little  time  as  it 
requires  to  write  this  sentence.     Gibbons'  old  divi- 
sion took  15  stand  of  colors.     The  battle  was  over. 
On  the  field  of  Gettysburj;  was  crushed   the  first 
and  last  great  attempt  of  the  rebels  to  gain  a  deci- 
sive victory  on  the  soil  of  the  North.     The  149th 
had    the    proud    consciousness,   under   their  brave 
officers,  and  a  gallant  son  of  Onondaga,  Gen.  Slo- 
cum  as  chief  commander  in  the  first  days'  engage- 
ment and  commander  of  the  right  wing  during  the 
battle,  of  contributing  their  share  towards  the  grand 
victory. 

Meade  states  our  losses  in  this  series  of  battles 
at  2,834  killed,  13,709  wounded,  and  6,643  missing, 
(mainly  taken  prisoners  on   the   1st  of  July; :  total, 


23,186.  He  only  claims  three  guns  as  captured 
this  side  of  the  Potomac,  with  41  flags  and  13,621 
prisoners  — many  of  them  wounded  ;  24.978  small 
arms  were  collected  on  the  field.  The  confederate 
loss  was  about  18,000  killed  and  wounded. 

Returning  in  pursuit  of  the  rebel  army,  the  chase 
led  the  149th  for  the  fourth  time  through  Frederick 
City.  They  reached  the  Rappahannock  at  Ellis 
Ford,  on  the  ist  of  August,  and  remained  in  camp 
several  weeks.  On  the  i6th  of  September,  they 
were  at  Raccoon  Ford,  and  on  the  i8th  the  division 
was  ordered  out  to  witness  the  execution  of  two 
deserters— the  last  of  their  experience  in  the  Army 
of  the  Potomac. 


CHAPTER    XXVHI. 

The  One  Hundred  and  Forty-Ninth  with 
Shkrman — The  Atlanta  Campaign — Lookout 
Mountain — Entrance  into  Atlanta — Fall 
ofSavannah— March  THROUGH  THE  Carolinas 
— Surrender  of  Johnston— List  of  Promo- 
tions. 

AFTER  the  battle  of  Gettysburg,  the  1  ith  and 
1 2th  corps  were  consolidated,  forming  the 
20lh  army  corps,  commanded  by  Gen.  Hooker,  and 
was  sent  south  under  Gen.  Sherman.  Gen.  Hooker 
resigned  in  front  of  Atlanta,  and  Gen.  Slocum  was 
promoted  to  the  command  of  the  20th  army  corps. 
From  this  change  of  organization,  the  fortunes  of 
the  149th  were  identified  with  Sherman's  move- 
ments till  the  close  of  the  war. 

On  the  29th  of  September,  1863,  they  started 
from  Healton  Station  for  the  Southeast,  and  via 
Nashville  reached  Murfreesboro  on  the  7th  of  Oc- 
tober, just  in  time  to  be  ordered  into  the  intrench- 
ments  to  repel  an  attack  of  rebel  cavalry.  On  the 
2Sth  of  October  they  started  for  the  front,  reaching 
the  Wauhatchie  Valley  on  the  first  of  November. 
Here  the  regiment  and  division  experienced  one  of 
the  very  few  night  attacks  of  the  war,  and  a 
short  but  bloody  and  decisive  battle  was  fought, 
about  midnight  of  the  first  night  of  their  occupa- 
tion of  the  valley.  The  Union  forces  were  victori- 
ous, but  the  149th  suffered  severely  ;  among  the 
killed  was  their  brave  and  gallant  Color-Bearer, 
William  C.  Lilly,  who  was  fatally  wounded  in  the 
battle  and  died  at  Ikidgeport,  Alabama,  a  few  days 
afterwards.  This  victory  was  one  of  the  most  im- 
portant events  of  the  war,  as  it  effected  an  entrance 
for  our  army  into  the  valley  and  finally  enabled  us, 
by  the  capture  of  Lookout  Mountain,  to  open  a 
communication  with  the  Union  forces  at  Chat- 
I     tanooga,  who  were  suffering  for  want  of  supplies. 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


123 


and  would  have  soon  been  obliged  to  retreat,  and 
thus  lose  an  important  objective  point  on  the 
route  to  the  heart  of  the  Rebel  Confederacy.  A 
lodgment  being  effected  in  the  valley,  the  regiment 
and  division  remained  encamped  in  the  vicinity  of 
Kelley's  Ford,  near  the  Tennessee  River  and  under 
the  frowning  shadow  of  Lookout  Mountain. 

On  the  24th  of  November  occurred  the  celebrated 
"Battle  above  the  Clouds."  The  advance  was  led 
by  the  149th,  which  added  to  its  already  well- 
established  fame  by  the  capture  of  four  stand  of 
rebel  colors,  and  a  number  of  prisoners,  arms  and 
ammunition. 

The  following  letter,  written  on  the  spot,  is  a 
truthful  and  graphic  description  of  the  battle  and 
of  the  position  of  the  149th  : 

"The  advance  was  led  by  the  troops  of  General 
Geary's  division  of  the  12th  corps.  The  men  com- 
menced ascending  the  mountain  over  a  mile  from 
the  front,  and,  regardless  of  the  rebel  picket  fire,  a 
line  was  formed  leading  from  the  base  of  an  almost 
perpendicular  ledge  of  rocks,  on  the  left,  to  our  own 
picket  line,  about  three-fourths  of  the  distance 
down  the  mountain.  Three  lines  were  formed,  the 
2d  division  leading  the  advance  and  the  149th  oc- 
cupying the  left  of  the  first  line.  When  the  order 
to  advance  was  given,  our  men  started  forward  with 
a  cheer  over  the  rugged  sides  of  the  mountain, 
totally  regardless  of  any  obstacle  in  their  way  and 
almost  ignoring  the  sharp  fire  of  the  rebel  infantry, 
who  attempted  to  stop  their  progress.  With  an 
enthusiasm  which  knew  no  bounds,  they  rushed 
over  hills  and  through  gorges,  climbing  towering 
rocks,  dashing  through  brushwood  and  fallen 
timber,  and  scarcely  stopping  even  to  take  prison- 
ers. They  swept  over  the  side  of  the  mountain 
and  around  its  frowning  front  with  the  rapidity  and 
force  of  the  whirlwind,  completely  overcoming  and 
conquering  every  obstacle,  both  natural  and  artifi- 
cial, which  attempted  to  impede  their  progress. 

"  No  military  achievement  of  this  or  any  other 
war,  e.xceeded,  for  dash  and  daring,  personal  bravery, 
contempt  of  extraordinary  obstacles  and  complete 
and  perfect  success,  this  charge  of  the  2d  division 
around  the  point  of  Lookout  Mountain.  The  rebel 
forces  were  literally  swept  from  the  mountain  side, 
driven  from  fastnesses  and  intrenchments  they  had 
considered  impregnable,  captured  in  their  strong- 
holds, and  every  vestige  of  their  power  swept  before 
us  like  leaves  before  the  autumn  gale." 

The  battle  of  Lookout  Mountain  was  followed  by 
an  immediate  advance  of  the  whole  army,  in  which 
the  149th  bore  an  active  part.  On  the  second  of 
December,  another  severe  fight  took  place,  which 
resulted  in  the  capture  of  the  valley  of  the  Ring- 
gold and  its  occupancy  by  the  Union  forces,  with 
an  officer  of  the  149th  as  Provost  Marshal  of  the 
captured  town.  The  campaign  ending  with  the 
capture  of  Mission  Ridge,  our  njen  fell  back  to  their 


old  camping  ground  at  the  base  of  Lookout  Moun- 
tain, where  they  remained  till  after  New  Year's, 
1864,  enduring  severe  hardships  and  almost  star- 
vation, in  consequence  of  the  impossibility  of  for- 
warding supplies.  During  this  period  the  149th  was 
complimented  by  a  public  delivery  of  their  captured 
rebel  flags  to  Gen.  Hooker ;  and  after  being  almost  re- 
duced to  starvation  were  removed  to  Stevenson  and 
remained  till  spring  in  preparation  for  the  next  cam- 
paign. The  stay  here  was  a  season  of  comparative 
ease  and  festivity  ;  rations  plenty,  supplies  abundant 
and  labor  light.  The  few  inhabitants  treated  them 
kindly.  Capt.  Park  Wheeler  was  detailed  to  "  keep 
hotel,"  and  proved  himself  no  unworthy  landlord  of 
the  "  Soldiers'  Home."  Among  the  attractions 
which  rendered  the  stay  in  Stevenson  pleasant  to 
many  of  the  149th  was  the  presence  of  ladies,  the 
wives  of  several  of  the  officers,  who,  during  this 
season  of  quiet,  visited  their  husbands  and  friends 
at  camp — Mrs.  Col.  Ireland,  Mrs.  Surgeon  Kendall, 
Mrs.  Capt.  Wheeler  and  others,  whose  presence  lent 
a  charm  to  camp  life  not  elsewhere  e.xperienced 
during  the  war. 

May  2,  1864,  began  the  movement  of  the  troops 
in  the  famous  Atlanta  campaign.  Their  progress 
was  first  intercepted  at  Resacawhere  the  rebel  force 
under  Johnston  was  concentrated  and  had  burned 
the  bridge  across  the  Coosawattee  River.  Howard 
had  entered  Dalton  on  the  heels  of  Johnston's  force 
and  had  pressed  him  down  to  Resaca.  Sherman 
at  once  set  on  foot  a  flanking  movement  to 
drive  him  out.  Johnston  made  a  counter  move- 
ment by  attacking  Hooker  and  Schofield  on  his 
front  and  left.  He  was  defeated  in  the  bloody  con- 
test which  ensued.  Hooker  driving  the  enemy  from 
several  hills,  taking  four  guns  and  many  prisoners. 
The  rebels  retreated  across  the  Oostenaula  during 
the  night,  and  our  army  entered  Resaca  in  triumph 
next  morning.  From  this  time  to  the  final 
triumphal  entrance  into  Atlanta,  was  a  constant 
series  of  skirmishes,  battles  and  active  military 
operations.  For  nearly  one  hundred  days  and 
nights  our  men  were  constantly  under  fire,  passing 
through  the  thrilling  experiences  of  the  battles 
of  Villanow  Mill  Church,  Nickajack  Creek,  Burnt 
Hickory,  Calhoun,  Dallas,  Cassville,  Kingston, 
Pumpkin  Vine  Creek,  Paices'  Ferry,  Chattahoochee 
River,  Ackworth,  Marietta,  Big  Shanty  and  Kene- 
saw  Mountain. 

The  most  severe  and  disastrous  battle  of  the 
campaign  in  which  the  149th  were  engaged  was 
at  Peach  Tree  Creek  on  the  20th  of  July,  1864, 
where  a  partial  surprise  was  effected,  and  almost  in 
an  instant  of  time  the  regiment  lost   19  brave  and 


124 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


generous  soldiers,  among  whom  were  Col.  C.  B. 
Kendall  and  Capt.  D.  J.  Lindsay,  both  as  gallant 
officers  as  ever  drew  a  sword  in  defence  of  their 
country. 

During  this  campaign  Gen.  Hooker  resigned  his 
position  at  the  head  of  the  corps,  and  Gen.  Slocum, 
who  had  commanded  the  old  I2th  corps,  was  ap- 
pointed to  the  command  of  the  20th  ;  arriving  just 
in  time  to  accompany  the  triumphal  entry  into  At- 
lanta, on  the  2d  of  September.  The  losses  of  the 
I4f)th  during  the  campaign  amounted  to  34  men 
killed,  138  wounded  and  10  missing.  But  the  ob- 
jective point  was  gained  and  the  regiment  was  one 
of  the  first  to  enter  Atlanta  and  hoist  the  Stars 
and  Stripes  upon  the  public  hall.  Col.  Ireland, 
who  commanded  the  3d  brigade,  died  shortly  after 
entering  Atlanta,  and  the  command  devolved  upon 
Col.  Barnum,  promoted  to  the  rank  of  Brigadier 
General,  leaving  the  149th  under  the  command  of 
Major  Grumbach,  promoted  to  the  colonelcy. 

Among  the  interesting  incidents  of  the  camp  at 
Atlanta  was  the  voting  of  the  soldiers  at  the  No- 
vember election  for  President.  The  vote  of  the 
149th,  with  but  few  exceptions,  was  cast  for 
"  Honest  Old  Abe,"  showing  that  they  had  no  de- 
sire to  "swap  horses  while  crossing  the  river,"  as 
Mr.  Lincoln  predicted  would  be  the  verdict  of  the 
American  people. 

After  the  refitting  of  the  troops  and  sending  the 
sick  and  lame  to  the  rear,  the  commissary  wagons 
were  loaded  with  hard-tack,  coffee  and  sugar,  and 
trusting  to  their  own  energy  and  perseverance  to 
subsist  upon  the  country,  on  the  16th  of  November 
the  army  left  Atlanta,  to  plunge  out  of  sight  and 
hearing  into  the  heart  of  the  Rebel  Confederacy. 
The  famous  "  march  to  the  sea  "  had  been  deter- 
mined upon.  lixpcrience  proved  that  Sherman 
had  not  overestimated  the  abundance  of  supplies  in 
the  country  through  which  the  army  was  to  pass, 
nor  miscalculated  the  capacity  of  his  men  to  obtain 
their  full  share  of  the  necessaries  of  life.  The 
marching  of  an  army  composed  of  60,000  infantry 
and  5,500  cavalry  through  an  interior  country  of 
such  e.\tent  was  a  scene  probably  never  witnessed 
before,  and  must  have  been  an  astonishing  spectacle 
to  the  people  of  the  country  through  which  they 
passed.  Thousands  of  negroes,  sometimes  in  torch- 
light processions,  followed  the  army  "  on  the  road 
to  freedom."  The  army  was  formed  into  two  grand 
divisions  or  wings  :  The  right  led  by  Gen.  O.  O. 
Howard,  comprising  the  15th  corps.  Gen.  P.  J. 
Osterhaus,  and  the  17th,  Gen.  Frank  P.  Blair;  the 
left,  led  by  Gen.  H.  W.  Slocum,  comprisingthe  14th 
corps.  Gen.   Jeff.  C.  Davis,  and  the  20th,  Gen.  A. 


S.  Williams.  Gen.  Judson  Kilpatrick  led  the 
cavalry,  which  careered  in  front  and  on  either  flank 
of  the  infantry. 

The  149th,  with  Slocum's  wing,  advanced  by 
Covington,  Madison  and  Eatonton,  concentrating 
on  Milledgeville,  which  was  entered  without  opposi- 
tion. Sherman  thus  far  accompanied  the  14th 
corps.  Slocum  moved  out  of  Milledgeville  simul- 
taneously with  Howard's  advance  from  Gordon, 
and  concentrated  at  Sandersville,  driving  out  a  small 
party  of  Wheeler's  cavalry  ;  thence  he  followed  the 
Central  Railroad,  breaking  it  up  to  the  Ogeechee, 
which  he  crossed  at  Louisville,  and  thence  kept 
north,  striking  out  towards  the  Savannah. 

At  Millen,  on  the  Central  Railroad,  half  way 
from  Sandersville  to  Savannah,  was  a  great  prison 
camp  where  some  thousands  of  our  captured  sol- 
diers had  long  endured  unspeakable  privations. 
Sherman  was  intent  on  reaching  and  liberating 
them,  and  for  this  purpose  sent  forward  Kilpatrick 
with  his  cavalry;  but  the  enemy  took  the  alarm  and 
removed  the  prisoners.  Kilpatrick  being  harrassed 
and  kept  back  by  skirmishes  with  Wheeler's  cav- 
alry. Our  army  visited  this  prison  on  their  march 
after  the  prisoners  had  been  removed.  The  20th 
army  corps,  (Gen.  Slocum's,)  including  the  149th, 
was  the  first  to  reach  Savannah.  It  passed  Mor- 
gan's and  Carlin's  divisions  encamped  about  ten 
miles  out,  and  hastened  on  to  the  city.  On  the  loth 
of  December,  1864,  Savannah  was  completely  be- 
leaguered, and  Fort  McAllister  was  that  day  carried 
by  storm.  Hardee,  with  15,000  men,  evacuated  the 
city  on  the  night  of  the  20th,  escaping  across  the 
Savannah  River  on  a  pontoon  bridge.  He  was  un- 
observed by  our  pickets,  as  the  night  was  dark  and 
windy.  Under  cover  of  fire  which  he  had  kept  up 
the  day  previous,  he  had  destroyed  the  Navy  ^'ard 
and  two  iron  dads.  Our  troops  now  took  posses- 
sion, the  149th  being  in  advance  and  raising  the 
flag  on  the  dome  of  the  City  Hall. 

The  taking  of  Fort  McAllister  by  Hazen's  divi- 
sion was  a  brilliant  achievement.  While  the 
steamer  sent  by  Gen.  Foster  and  Admiral  Dahlgren, 
to  communicate  with  our  army,  was  hesitating 
whether  or  not  to  approach  the  fort,  at  that  moment 
Hazen's  bugles  sounded  the  charge ;  when  his  divi- 
sion rushed  over  torpedoes  and  abatis,  through  a 
shower  of  grape,  up  to  and  over  the  parapet,  and 
after  a  brief  but  desperate  struggle,  McAllister  was 
ours.  Her  garrison  of  200  surrendered,  having  40 
or  50  killed  and  wounded  to  our  90.  Among  the 
spoils  were  22  guns  and  much  ammunition.  Fort 
McAllister  fell  on  the  13th  of  December;  on  the 
17th,  Hardee  was  formally  summoned  to  surrender 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


125 


the  city  ;  on  the  20th,  the  bombardment  of  the  city 
commenced,  and  on  that  night  Hardee  evacuated, 
moving  his  force  towards  Charleston. 

The  149th  was  stationed  as  Provost  Guard  of  a 
portion  of  the  conquered  city,  and  in  this  capacity 
had  a  season  of  relaxation  and  rest  from  the  fatigues 
of  the  campaign,  mingling  in  the  social  life  of  the 
city  and  enjoying  balls  and  other  pastimes.  A  loyal 
newspaper  was  printed  and  edited  by  a  member  of 
the  149th  during  their  stay  in  Savannah,  After 
being  supplied  with  provisions  and  clothing,  and 
leaving  the  city  in  charge  of  another  corps,  they 
were  again  on  the  march,  and  reached  Sisters' 
Ferry  with  great  difficulty  on  account  of  the  floods 
and  next  to  impassable  condition  of  the  roads. 
After  some  detention  they  crossed  the  Savannah 
River  on  pontoons  and  entered  the  State  of  South 
Carolina.  Along  their  route  the  rebels  had  buried 
torpedoes,  which  exploded  and  severely  injured 
several  of  the  regiment.  The  march  through  South 
Carolina  involved  unusual  hardships ;  the  weather 
having  become  exceedingly  wet,  the  swamps  flooded 
and  the  river  high  and  swift. 

Fayetteville,  North  Carolina,  was  reached  on  the 
1 2th  of  March,  1865.  Here  the  enemy  halted  three 
days,  completely  destroying  the  United  States 
Arsenal  and  the  costly  machinery  which  had  been 
brought  here  from  Harper's  Ferry  at  the  time  of  its 
capture  by  the  rebels  in  1861. 

Sherman's  movements  from  this  point  were  very 
cautiously  made.  An  immense  army  was  concen- 
trating in  his  front ;  Hardee  from  Savannah  and 
Charleston,  Beauregard  from  Columbia,  Cheatham 
from  the  Tennessee,  with  considerable  force  drawn 
from  North  Carolina  and  her  seaward  defences  un- 
der Bragg  and  Hoke,  with  Wheeler's  and  Hamp- 
ton's cavalry,  making  up  a  force  of  not  less  than 
40,000  men,  mostly  veterans,  under  the  command 
of  the  able  and  wary  Joe  Johnston.  It  would  no 
longer  answer  to  move  as  hitherto  ;  our  columns 
must  be  kept  well  closed  up,  the  corps  within  easy 
supporting  distance,  on  peril  of  surprise  and  disas- 
ter. True  to  his  favorite  policy,  Sherman,  on  the 
15th  of  March,  pushed  four  divisions  of  his  left 
wing,  covered  by  Kilpatrick's  cavalry,  directly  north- 
ward to  Averysboro,  as  a  feint  on  Raleigh  ;  while 
Slocum's  train,  his  two  remaining  divisions,  and  the 
right  wing,  moved  by  various  roads  nearly  east, 
towards  Goldsboro,  his  true  destination.  Sherman 
was  on  the  left  with  Slocum,  including  the  149th, 
but  had  ridden  across  to  the  right  wing,  intent  on 
reaching  Goldsboro  and  meeting  Gen.  Schofield, 
when  the  sound  of  guns  on  the  left  again  challenged 
his  attention.   Slocum,  approaching  Bentonville,  had 


been  assailed  by  Johnston  with  the  entire  rebel  army. 
The  divisions  of  the  right  wing  were  ordered  at 
once  to  move  on  rapidly  to  the  assistance  of  the 
outnumbered  left.  Slocum  had  encountered  Dib- 
brell's  cavalry,  which  he  was  driving,  when  he  ran 
headlong  upon  the  whole  Confederate  force,  the  two 
leading  brigades  of  Carlin's  division  being  hurled 
back  upon  the  main  body,  with  a  loss  of  three  guns 
and  their  caissons.  Slocum  thereupon  very  prop- 
erly stood  on  the  defensive,  showing  a  front  of  four 
divisions,  and  throwing  up  slight  barricades,  while 
Kilpatrick  came  into  action  on  the  left.  Here  our 
left  withstood  six  assaults  from  Johnston's  army 
inflicting  heavy  loss  with  our  artillery,  the  enemy 
having  brought  up  little  or  none.  Johnston  had 
hurried  to  this  point  by  night  from  Smithfield,  ex- 
pecting to  crush  Slocum  before  he  could  be  sup- 
ported, but  he  was  mistaken.  Night  fell  without 
giving  him  any  ground,  and  before  morning  Slocum 
got  up  his  wagon  train,  with  its  guard  of  two  divi- 
sions, while  Hazen's  division  of  the  isth  (Logan's) 
corps,  came  up  on  the  right,  rendering  his  position 
secure.  The  enemy  not  risking  further  attacks, 
Slocum  awaited  the  arrival  of  Howard  with  the 
entire  right  wing.  In  the  night  Johnston  retreated 
on  Smithfield  and  Raleigh,  so  precipitately  as  to 
leave  his  pickets  and  his  severely  wounded  behind. 

Our  total  loss  here  was  191  killed,  1,108  wounded, 
and  344  missing,  in  all  1,643.  We  buried  here  267 
rebel  dead,  and  took  1,625  prisoners,  many  of  them 
wounded. 

No  further  resistance  being  made,  our  army  moved 
on  to  Goldsboro,  where  it  rested  and  was  reclothed, 
much  to  the  satisfaction  of  our  149th,  for  having 
passed  through  the  tar  regions  of  North  Carolina 
and  burned  a  number  of  rosin  manufactories,  they 
were  so  blackened  and  begrimmed  with  the  smoke 
and  cinders  as  to  resemble  more  a  regiment  of  col- 
ored troops  than  white  soldiers.  Their  clothes 
were  also  worn  and  tattered,  so  that,  as  remarked 
by  their  Quartermaster,  "  fat,  ragged  and  saucy," 
was  a  more  apt  description  of  them  than  any  other 
combination  of  words  in  the  English  language. 

From  Goldsboro  the  troops  containing  our  regi- 
ment were  marched  to  Raleigh,  where  they  arrived 
on  the  14th  of  April.  While  here  news  of  the  sur- 
render of  Lee  and  his  forces  to  Gen.  Grant  at 
Appomattox  reached  our  headquarters  and  was 
hailed  with  tumultuous  rejoicing  by  the  whole 
army.  A  demonstration  was  made  towards  John- 
ston, but  like  a  prudent  commander,  he  also,  after 
some  formal  negotiations,  surrendered,  and  the 
great  civil  war  was  at  an  end. 

The  order,  "  On  to  Richmond  "—now  much  more 


126 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


easily  executed  than  at  the  beginning  of  the  warr — 
was  heard  through  the  ranks,  and  our  army  moved 
forward,  reaching  the  "  Rebel  Capital "  on  the  loth 
of  May,  passing  in  review  through  its  principal 
streets.  From  Richmond  to  Washington,  they 
passed  through  Chickahominy  swamp  and  over  their 
old  stamping  grounds,  crossing  the  Rappahannock 
at  United  States  Ford,  and  pausing  a  few  moments 
on  the  field  of  their  first  battle  at  Chancellorsville. 
A  rapid  march  brought  them  to  Alexandria,  whence 
they  were  moved  across  the  Potomac  to  Washing- 
ton and  soon  after  mustered  out  of  the  service. 

The  remnant  of  the  149th  soon  returned  home 
to  receive  the  warm  welcome  of  a  grateful  and 
generous  people,  who  had  watched  their  career  in 
the  army  with  pride  and  satisfaction.  It  is  not  too 
much  to  say  that  the  149th  had  as  varied  an  experi- 
ence and  made  for  themselves  as  honorable  a 
record  during  the  war  of  the  rebellion,  as  any  volun- 
teer regiment  in  the  Union  service.  Their  dead 
sleep  in  honored  graves,  and  their  living,  many  of 
them,  have  won  that  respect,  both  in  military  and 
civil  afiTairs,  to  which  their  merits  and  sacrifices 
justly  entitle  them. 

Official  Recokd    ano  List  of  Promotions  of 
THE  149TH  Regiment. 

Henry  A.  Harnum.Col.,  rank  from  September  17, 
'62,  promoted  to  Hrig.-Gen.,  May  3i,'65  ;  Nicholas 
Grumbach,  Capt..  rank  from  September  2,  '62, 
promoted  to  Major  August  2,  '64,  to  Lieut. -Col. 
May  II,  '65,  to  Col.  June  7.  '65,  (Brevet  Col., 
U.  S.  V.,)  mustered  out  June.  12,  '65;  John  M. 
Strong,  Lieut. -Col.,  rank  from  September  5,  '62, 
resigned  March  i.  '63  ;  Abel  G.  Cook.  Major,  rank 
from  Sept.  8,  '62,  promoted  to  Lieut.  Col.  March  i, 
'63,  (  Hrevet  Col ,  N.  Y.  V.)  discharged  July  2C,  '64  ; 
Charles  H.  Randall,  Major,  rank  from  March  17, 
'63,  promoted  to  Lieut.-Col.  June  5,  '63,  killed  in 
action  July  20,  '64  ;  Edward  U.  Murray,  Jr.,  ist 
Lieut ,  rank  from  Sept.  4,  '62,  promoted  to  Capt. 
March  4,  '63,  to  Lieut.-Col.  July  20,  '64,  mustered 
out  June  12,  '65  ;  Henry  H.  Hurhans,  ist  Lieut., 
rank  from  Sept.  8,  '62,  promoted  to  Capt.,  Nov.  24, 
'62,  to  Major  May  11,  '65,  mustered  out  June  12, 
'65  ;  Walter  M.  Dallman,  Adjutant,  rank  from  Aug. 
29,  '62,  (Hrevet  Major,  N.  Y.  V.)  discharged  Mar. 
15,  '65;  Bela  P.  Hitchcock,  Adjutant,  rank  from 
Mar.  15,  "65,  (Hrevet  Capt.,  N.  Y.  V. ),  mustered 
out  June  12,  '65  ;  Moses  Summers,  Quartermaster, 
rank  from  Aug.  28,  'C2,  promoted  to  Capt.  and  A. 
Q.  M.  July  I,  '64,  (Brevet  Major,  N.  Y.  V.)  ;  Ham- 
ilton D.  Borden,  Q.  M.,  rank  from  July  i,  '64, 
(Brevet  Capt.,  N.  Y.  V.)  mustered  out  June  12, '65  ; 
James  V.  Kendall,  Surgeon,  rank  from  Aug.  22, 
'62,  (Brevet  Lieut.-Col..  N.  Y.  V.)  mustered  out 
June  12,  '65  ;  Horace  Nims,  Assist.-Surgeon,  rank 
from  Sept.  19,  '62,  resigned  March  17,  '63  ;  Henry 
F.  Adams,  Assist.-Surgeon.  rank  from  April  2,  '63, 
(Brevet  Major,  N.  Y.  V.)  mustered   out  June  12, 


'65  ;  Albert  W.  Phillips,  Assist.-Surgeon,  rank  from 
Oct.    9,  '62,   resigned    Nov.    24,    "63  ;    Arvine    C. 
Bowdish,  Chaplain,  rank  from  Sept.  18, '62.  (Brevet 
Major,  N.  Y.  V.  1,  resigned  Sept.  3.  "63  ;  Solomon 
Light,  Capt.,  rank  from  Aug.  30,  '62,  resigned  Jan. 
17,  '63  ;    Oliver  T.   May,    Capt.,  rank    from   Jan. 
17.  '63,  (Brevet    Major,    N.    Y.  V.'i  mustered  out 
June  12,  '65  ;  Jacob  Knapp,   2d  Lieut.,  rank  from 
Sept.  2.  '62,  promoted  to  ist  Lieut.  April  4,  '63,  to 
Capt.   Aug.    2,   '64,    (Brevet    Major,    N.    Y.    V.), 
mustered  out  June  12, '65  ;  James  Lynch,  Jr.,  Capt., 
rank  from  Sept.  4, '63,  resigned  F^cb.  15, '63  ;  Thos. 
GatTncy.    ist   Lieut.,  rank  from  April  24, '63,  pro- 
moted  to  Capt.  Oct.  31,  '64,  resigned  June  3.  '65  ; 
Morris  K.  Baker,    ist  Lieut.,  rank  from  April   12, 
'64,  promoted  to  Capt.  June   7,  '65,  mustered  out 
June   12,  "65  ;  J.   Forman    Wilkinson,  Capt,  rank 
from  Sept.  4,  '62,  resigned  Dec.  7,  '62,  ( Brevet  Ma- 
jor N.   Y.  v.):    Park    Wheeler,    ist   Lieut.,    rank 
from  Sept.  4,  '62,  promoted  to  Capt.  Dec.    30,  '62, 
resigned    Aug.  7, '64  (Brevet    Major  N.    Y.  V.); 
Oliver  L.  F.  Brown,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from   Dec.  7, 
'62,  promoted  to  ist  Lieut.   June   I,  '64,  to  Capt. 
Oct.  31, '64,  ( Brevet    Major  N.    Y.   V.,i  mustered 
out  June  12,  '65  ;  Ira  B.  Seymour,  Capt ,  rank  from 
1     Sept.  5,  '62,  (Brevet  Major  U.  S.  V.,)  mustered  out 
June  12,  '65  ;  William  Pullen,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from 
I     May   3,  '63,  promoted  to  ist  Lieut.  Aug.    12,  '63, 
,     to  Capt.  June   7,  '65,  (Brevet  Major,  N.  Y.  Vols.,) 
mustered    out   June   12,    '65  ;  Judson   H.    Graves, 
Capt.,  rank  from  Sept.  8,  '62,  resigned  Oct.  23,  '62  ; 
Theodore  E.    Stevens,  2d  Lieut ,  rank  from  Sept. 
8,  '62.  promoted  to  ist  Lieut.  June  10,  '64,  to  Capt. 
May  1 1,  '65,  (Brevet  Major  U.  S.  V.),  mustered  out 
June  12,  '65  ;  Eben  G.  Tosvnsend,  Capt.,  rank  from 
Sept.  9,  '62,  discharged  Feb.  4,  '64 ;  Andreas  Cas- 
sard,  Capt.,  rank  from  April  20, '64,  declined  ;  Geo. 
G.  Truair,   2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Aug.  9,  '63,  pro- 
moted to  1st  Lieut.  July  14, '64,  to  Capt.  April  22, 
'65,  (  Brevet  Major  N.  Y.  V.,1  mustered  out  June  12, 
'65  :  Robert    E.  Hopkins,  Capt.,   rank  from  Sept. 
10,  '62,   promoted   to  Major  Feb.  29,  '64;  Orson 
Coville,  1st  Lieut.,  rank  from  Sept.  5, '62,  promoted 
to  Capt.   F"eb.    29, '64,  mustered  out  June  12, '65, 
(Brevet  Major   N.   Y.    V.);  Thomas  Merriam,    2d 
Lieut.,  rank   from  Sept.  10,  '62,   promoted  to   ist 
Lieut.  Aug.  14,  '63,  to  Capt.  July  14,  '64,  (Brevet 
Major  N.  Y.  V.,)  mustered  out  June  12, '65  ;  David 
Lindsay,  Capt.,  rank  from   Sept.  12,  '62  ;  killed  in 
action  near  Atlanta,  Ga.,  July  20,  '64  ;  Alexander 
[     McKinstry,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Jan.    13,  '63,  pro- 
moted to  1st  Lieut.  May  15,  '63,  to  Capt.  July  20, 
I     '64,  discharged    May   15,   '65  ;    James   E.    Doran, 
'     Capt.,  rank  from  Sept.  17,  '62,  discharged  Feb.  5, 
I     '64;  Charles  E.  Coville,*Capt..  rank  from  Mar.  29, 
'     '64.   not    mustered  ;   Samuel   Bronner,    ist    Lieut., 
rank  from  Aug.  30, '62,  resigned  Feb.  8, '63  ;  Mathew 
H.  Westcott,   2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Aug.    30,  "62, 
!     promoted  to  ist  Lieut.,  March  4,  '63,  (Brevet  Capt. 
;     N.  Y.  v.).  discharged  Feb.  5,  '64  ;  William  Wills, 
1st  Lieut.,  rank  from   March  16,  '64,  mustered  out 
June  12,  '65  ;  Philip  Eckle,  ist  Lieut.,   rank  from 
1     Sept.  2, '62,  discharged  Dec.  21, '63,  (Brevet  Capt. 
I     N.  Y.  V. ) ;  John  F.  Wheeler,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from 
May  7,  '64,  promoted  to  ist  Lieut.  June  7,  '65,  ( Bre- 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


127 


vet  Capt.  N.  Y.  V.,)  mustered  out  June  12,  '65  ; 
John  B.  Foote,  ist  Lieut ,  rank  from  Feb.  15.  '6t„ 
declined  ;  George  W.  Phillips,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from 
Aug.  7,  '64,  promoted  to  ist  Lieut.  April  22,  '65, 
mustered  out  June  I2,  '65  ;  William  W.  Mosely,  2d 
Lieut.,  rank  from  Sept.  4,  '62,  promoted  to  1st 
Lieut.  Dec.  30,  '62,  discharged  May  11,  '63  ;  Elisha 
Houghkirk,  2d  Lieut,  rank  from  March  15,  '65, 
promoted  to  ist  Lieut.  June  7,  '65,  (Brevet  Capt. 
N.  Y.  V.,)  mustered  out  June  12,  '65  ;  Edward  F. 
Hopkins,  ist  Lieut.,  rank  from  Jan.  30,  '64,  resigned 
Sept.  14, '64;  Nicholas  Cooney,  ist  Lieut,  rank 
from  Dec.  22,  '64,  declined  ;  Philip  Hiorsh,  ist 
Lieut.,  rank  from  March  i,  '65,  (Brevet  Capt.  N  Y. 
v.),  mustered  out  June  12,  '65  ;  William  Gleason, 
1st  Lieut ,  rank  from  Nov.  25,  '62,  resigned  May  25, 
'64;    Joseph    Gay,     ist    Lieut.,   rank    from    May 

11,  '65,  (Brevet  Capt.  N.  Y.  V..)  mustered  out 
June  12,  '65  ;  Byron  A.  Wood,  ist  Lieut.,  rank 
from  Sept.  9,  '62,  resigned  Dec.  6,  '62  ;  Willis 
S.  Barnum,  1st  Lieut.,  rank  from  Feb.  7,  '6^,  (  Brevet 
Capt.  N.  Y.  V.)  resigned  May  24.  '64  ;  John  H. 
Patterson,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  July  3,  '64,  pro- 
moted to  1st  Lieut.,  Aug.  7,'64,  (Brevet  Capt,  N.  Y. 
V.)  mustered  out  June  12, '65  ;  Ohio  L.  Palmer,  ist 
Lieut.,  rank  from  Sept.  10,  '62,  resigned  June  24, 
'6^  ;  George  H.  Diety,  ist  Lieut.,  rank  from  Aug. 
28,  '65,  (Brevet  Capt.  N.  Y.  V.)  mustered  out  June 

12,  '65  ;  George  K.  Collins,  ist  Lieut.,  rank  from 
Sept.  12,  '62,  (Brevet  Capt.  N.  Y.  V.)  resigned  April 
24,  '64;  John  Kohl,  1st  Lieut.,  rank  from  June  7, 
'65,  (Brevet  Capt.  N.  Y.  V.)  not  mustered  ;  John 
Van  Wie,  1st  Lieut.,  rank  from  Sept.  17,  '62,  re- 
signed Jan.  13,  '63  ;  Benjamin  F.  Breed,  2d  Lieut, 
rank  from  Sept.  17, '62,  promoted  to  ist  Lieut.  May 

3,  '63,  killed  in  action  at  Chancellorsville  May  3, 
'63  ;  Burnett  E.  Miller,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Oct 
14,  '63,  promoted  to  1st  Lieut.  Jan.  6,  '64,  mustered 
out  June  12,  '65  ;  Joseph  Seymour,  Jr.,  rank  from 
Feb.  8,  '6s,  discharged  Aug,  9,  '6^  ;  Philip  M. 
Sours,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  June  3,  '64,  not  mus- 
tered ;  William  Savage,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Sept. 

4,  '62,  resigned  Mar.  29,  '63  ;  Fred'k  O.  Waters,  2d 
Lieut.,  rank  from  Aug.  12, '63,  not  mustered  ;  Abram 
H.  Spore,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Dec.  7, '62,  resigned 
Mar.  3,  '64  ;  Harvey  Siver,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from 
Mar.  29,  '64,  mustered  out  June  12,  '65  ;  Edward 
F.  Hopkins,  2d  Lieut., rank  from  Sept.  5,  '62,  pro- 
moted to  1st  Lieut.  April  4,  '64  ;  mustered  out  June 
12,  '65  ;  Jacob  Waling,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  June 
7/65,  not  mustered,  (Brevet  ist  Lieut.  N.  Y.  V.)  ; 
Lucius  W.  Ramsey,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Mar.  15, 
'65,  mustered  out  June  12,  '65  ;  Thomas  A.  Bene- 
dict, 2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Sept.  9,  '62,  resigned 
Dec.  6,  '62  ;  David  R.  Wilson,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from 
June  14,  '64,  not  mustered,  deserted ;  Francis 
Becker,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  June  7,  '65,  not  mus- 
tered, (Brevet  ist  Lieut.  N.  Y.  V.)  ;  Z.  Carter  Pat- 
ten, 2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Feb.  23,  '64,  resigned  July 

5,  '64;  George  H.  Deitz,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  July 
5,  '64,  promoted  to  ist  Lieut.  April  22,  '65  ;  John 
T.  Rowe,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Sept.  12,  '62,  re- 
signed Dec.  12,  '62  ;  Joseph  A.  Davis,  2d  Lieut., 
rank  from  Dec.  12,  '62,  killed  in  action  at  Chancel- 
lorsville May  3,  '63  ;  William   O'Reiley,  2d   Lieut., 


rank  from  July  3,  '64,  not  mustered,  (Brevet  ist 
Lieut.  N.  Y.  V.) ;  Andreas  Cassard,  2d  Lieut.,  rank 
from  March  24,  '64,  declined  ;  Franklin  Sours,  2d 
Lieut.,  rank  from  April  20,  '64,  not  mustered  ;  Jacob 
Schwartz,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Mar.  28,  '65,  not 
mustered,  (Brevet  ist  Lieut.  N.  Y.  V. ) ;  David  Gere, 
2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  June  7,  '65,  not  mustered, 
(Brevet  ist  Lieut.  N.  Y.  V.) ;  Adolphus  J.  Fi.x,  2d 
Lieut.,  rank  from  June  7, '65,  (Brevet  ist  Lieut  N. 
Y.  v.),  not  mustered  ;  Milton  E.  Miller,  2d  Lieut., 
rank  from  Mar.  i,  '65,  mustered  out  June  12,  '65  ; 
George  P.  Frost  2d  Lieut,  rank  from  Jan.  7,  '65, 
not  mustered,  (Brevet  ist  Lieut.  N.  Y.  V.) 

Brevet  Commissions  Issued  by  the  Governor 
TO  Enlisted  Men  of  the  149TH  Regiment. 

^a'/k.  Name.  Brevet  Rank. 

Sergeant,  John  W.  Vaugh  2d  Lieut 

Q.  Sergeant,  Dudley  D    K.  Marvin,  2d  Lieut. 

Sergeant  Augustus  P.  Brown,       2d  Lieut 

Sergeant,  Joseph  F.   Thomas,        2d  Lieut 

Private,  William  Fehrenz,  2d  Lieut. 

Private,  George  W.  Chase,  2d  Lieut 

Private,  George  I.  Sager,  2d  Lieut. 

Com'sary  Sergt.,    Henry  L.  Purdy,  2d  Lieut 

Private,  Oliver  Ormsby,  2d   Lieut. 

Sergeant,  Howard  B.  Sloan,  2d  Lieut 

Sergeant  William  Cross,  2d  Lieut 

Sergeant,  William  Cahill,  2d  Lieut 

Medals  of  honor  were  awarded  by  the  Secretary 
of  War  to  the  following : 

First  Lieutenant,  N.  F.  Potter  ;  Private,  Peter 
Kappesser ;  Private,  Philip  Goettel. 


CHAPTER  XXIX. 

The  One  Hundred  and  Eighty-Fifth  New 
York  Volunteers — Organization — Arrival 
in  Front  of  Petersburg — Destruction  of 
the  Weldon  Railroad  —  Winter  Quarters 
— Battle  of  Hatcher's  Run  —  Attack  on 
Fort  Steedman. 

THE  185th  was  the  fourth  complete  regiment 
of  volunteer  infantry  from  Onondaga  county, 
raised  late  in  the  war,  and  composed  largely 
of  artisans,  farmers,  mechanics  and  profes- 
sional men.  It  was  its  peculiar  fortune  to  be 
mustered  into  the  service  when  hard  fighting  had 
to  be  done,  which  continued  with  little  interruption 
to  the  close  of  the  war.  The  185th  was  organized 
as  follows  : 

Field  and  Staff  Officers— Edwin  S.  Jenney, 
Colonel  ;  Gustavus  Sniper,  Lieutenant-Colonel  ; 
John  Leo,  Major ;  Byron  Mudge,  Adjutant  ; 
William  Gilbert,  Quartermaster;  Charles  W. 
Crarey,  Surgeon  ;  G.  L.  Newcomb,  Assistant  Sur- 
geon ;  Chester  W.  Hawley,  Chaplain. 

Line  Officers— Company  A  :  Stephen  O.  How- 
ard, Captain;  Ephraim  F.  Bander,  ist  Lieutenant; 


128 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


William  A.  Brooks,  2d  Lieutenant.  Company  B: 
John  Listman,  Captain  ;  William  A.  RofT,  ist 
Lieutenant ;  John  Herron,  2d  Lieutenant.  Com- 
pany C :  Henry  D.  Carhart,  Captain  ;  John  T. 
Hostler,  ist  Lieutenant;  Charles  J.  Rector,  2d 
Lieutenant.  Company  D :  Daniel  N.  Lathrop, 
Captain;  Theo<lore  M.  Barber,  ist  Lieutenant; 
Henry  L.  Kinf^sley,  2d  Lieutenant.  Company  E : 
Robert  F.  Bush,  Captain  ;  Robert  C.  Rorepaugh,  ist 
Lieutenant ;  Pembroke  Pierce,  2d  Lieutenant. 
Company  F:  John  W.  Strowbridge,  Captain  ;  An- 
drew J  Lyman,  1st  Lieutenant  :  Harrison  Givins, 
2d  Lieutenant.  Company  G  :  Albern  H.  Barber, 
Captain  ;  Hiram  Clark,  ist  Lieutenant  ;  Daniel 
Minier,  2d  Lieutenant.  Company  H  :  Daniel 
Christler,  Captain  ;  Stephen  S.  Jordan,  ist  Lieu- 
tenant ;  Stephen  R.  Hitchcock,  2d  Lieutenant. 
Company  I  :  Jarcd  F.  Abbott,  Captain ;  H.  Wads- 
worth  Clarke,  1st  Lieutenant;  Jacob  M.  Doran,  2d 
Lieutenant.  Company  K  :  Abram  H.  Spore, 
Captain  ;  Cyrus  A.  Phillips,  ist  Lieutenant ;  Lewis 
S.  Edgar,  2d  Lieutenant. 

This  regiment  was  organized  at  Syracuse  and 
mustered  into  the  service  September  22,  1864.  On 
the  23d  they  left  for  City  Point,  where  they  arrived 
t/rf  F"ortress  Monroe  on  the  30lh,  and  were  that 
night  ordered  into  action,  an  attack  being  made  on 
the  Union  forces  at  Warren  Station,  where  a  light 
skirmish  ensued.  On  the  4th  of  October  the  regi- 
ment was  assigned  to  the  First  Brigade,  First  Divi- 
sion, Fifth  Army  Corps :  Gen.  S.  Warren,  Corps 
Commander.  The  division  was  commanded  by 
Gen.  Charles  Griffin,  and  the  brigade  by  Gen. 
Sickles.  The  regiment  moved  on  the  4th  from 
Warren  Station  to  Poplar  Grove  Church,  where 
they  went  into  camp  and  remained  till  Sunday  the 
i6th.  On  Saturday,  October  8,  an  attack  was  made 
by  the  rebels  and  the  185th  was  ordered  to  sup- 
port Gen.  Aycrs,  in  command  of  a  brigade  of  the 
9th  corps.  A  fight  ensued  in  which  the  rebels  were 
repulsed.  No  further  incident  of  interest  occurred 
while  in  camp  here,  e-xcept  the  capturing  of  a  rebel 
spy  by  one  of  the  pickets  of  the  185th.  He  was 
an  engineer  and  had  a  complete  map  of  the  whole 
Union  lines  and  defences  from  City  Point  to  the 
e.xtremc  left,  extending  over  twenty  miles.  The 
map  was  concealed  next  his  person.  He  offered 
money  to  be  allowed  to  escape ;  but  was  tried  by 
court-marshal  and  shot   by  order  of  Gen.  Warren. 

October  16.  The  brigade  and  division  moved  to 
the  Squirrel  Level  Road  in  front  of  Petersburg 
and  went  into  camp.  Here  the  officers  of  the  185th 
presented  Colonel  Jenney  with  a  horse.  On  the 
27th,  a  move  was  made  on  the  South-side  Railroad, 
where  an  engagement  occurred  in  which  three  men 
of  the  185th  were  wounded.  After  the  battle  they 
returned  to  the  same  camp  on  the  29th  of  October. 
On  the  3d  of  December  the  army  was  ordered  to 


move  on  the  Weldon  Railroad  for  the  purpose  of 
destroying  the  track,  to  prevent  the  communication 
of  the  rebel  army  stationed  about  Petersburg  with 
their  base  of  supplies  at  Weldon.  This  road  was 
used  by  the  enemy  in  transporting  supplies  from 
North  Carolina  nearly  up  to  our  lines,  whence  they 
were  wagoned  around  our  left  to  Lee's  camps.  The 
expedition  consisted  of  Warren's  15th  1  corps,  Mott's 
division  of  the  2d  corps  and  Gregg's  mounted  divi- 
sion. They  moved  down  the  railroad  as  far  as  the 
Meherrin,  across  which  to  Hicksford  the  rebels 
were  driven,  while  the  road  was  effectually  destroyed 
down  to  that  point — some  twenty  miles.  The 
track  was  taken  up  and  the  rails  heated  and  bent 
so  that  they  could  not  again  be  used.  The  im- 
mense amount  of  rebel  supplies  at  this  point  was 
captured  ;  in  this  expedition  the  185th  bore  a 
conspicuous  part.  On  the  12th  of  December,  they 
went  into  camp  at  the  Gurley  House  near  Warren 
Station.  The  snow,  sleet  and  rain  were  terrible ; 
and  on  the  march,  without  preparations  to  with- 
stand the  inclemency  of  the  weather,  the  regiment 
suffered  severely  ;  one  man,  being  compelled  to 
march,  fell  out  by  the  way  and  was  never  heard  of 
afterwards.     He  probably  perished. 

Here  the  division  went  into  winter  quarters,  con- 
structing their  camp  in  a  dense  pine  forest  and 
clearing  the  ground,  so  that  not  a  stump  remained, 
in  an  incredibly  short  time.  The  Quartermaster, 
by  order  of  Gen.  Griffin,  detached  125  men  to  raid 
into  the  country  to  secure  materials  for  the  officers' 
quarters.  This  was  successfully  accomplished  and 
in  due  time  neat  and  comfortable  quarters  were 
erected,  which  were  occupied  till  the  5th  of  P'ebru- 
ary,  1865.  During  the  winter  a  large  church  sixty 
feet  long  was  built  of  pine  logs  hewed  on  the  inside, 
which  made  a  comfortable  place  of  worship.  It 
was  roofed  with  tent-cloth  furnished  by  the  Chris- 
tian Commission  ;  a  platform  at  one  end  for  the 
preacher  was  built  of  some  of  the  pine  lumber  ob- 
tained on  the  raid  ;  and  seals  were  constructed  of 
hewed  pine  slabs  set  upon  legs.  Here  Sergeant 
Brcgg  was  killed  by  rebel  guerrillas — shot  through 
with  five  bullets  and  stripped  of  his  clothes.  The 
health  of  the  regiment  during  the  winter  was  excel- 
lent. Gen.  Warren  here  sent  an  invitation  to  Col. 
Sniper  and  staff  to  make  him  a  New  Year's  call  at 
his  headquarters,  in  compliment  to  the  gallant  ser- 
vices of  the  185th  Col.  Jenney  was  then  absent 
on  a  visit  to  the  east. 

On  the  4th  of  February,  1865,  orders  were  re- 
ceived to  be  in  readiness  to  march  at  a  moment's 
warning,  and  on  Sunday  morning  the  5th,  before 
daylight,  our  forces  were  ordered  to  move  in  the 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


129 


direction  of  Hatcher's  Run  ;  and  on  the  afternoon 
of  the  same  day  occurred  the  second  battle  of  Hatch- 
er's Run,  lasting  till  next  day,  in  which  the  185th 
suffered  severely.  Two  men  in  Company  A  were 
killed  ;  one  in  Company  C  ;  Capt.  John  Listman, 
Company  B,  wounded  in  the  thigh  so  badly  that 
his  leg  had  to  be  amputated  close  to  the  body ; 
Major  Bush  taken  prisoner  and  sent  to  Libby  Prison. 
Among  the  privates  a  considerable  number  were 
wounded. 

During  the  early  part  of  this  engagement  the 
185th  Regiment  was  held  in  reserve.  About  the 
middle  of  the  afternoon,  however,  the  first  brigade, 
commanded  by  Col.  Sickle,  composed  of  his  regi- 
ment (the  198th  Pensylvania)  and  the  iS5th  New 
York,  was  hastily  ordered  forward  to  relieve  the  2d 
division  of  the  5th  corps.  This  division,  composed 
largely  of  regulars  and  commanded  by  Gen.  Ayers, 
a  regular  army  officer,  occupied  a  position  in  front 
of  a  piece  of  woods.  In  its  front  was  an  open  field, 
upon  the  opposite  side  of  which  were  one  or  two 
small  buildings  and  a  sudden  declivity  in  the  ground, 
occupied  by  the  enemy  and  answering  the  purpose 
of  an  intrenchment.  Gen.  Ayres'  division  had 
here  suffered  terribly. 

As  our  brigade  marched  for  nearly  half  a  mile 
along  the  road  through  the  woods,  we  met  the 
wounded  from  this  division  being  borne  back  by  the 
hospital  corps  ;  some  hastily  bandaged,  others  with 
undressed,  gaping  wounds  ;  some  besmeared  with 
blood,  others  pallid  as  though  in  the  grasp  of  death. 
It  was  a  trying  ordeal  for  our  men — a  severe  test  of 
their  courage  ;  even  the  bravest  pushed  forward  with 
blanched  cheek. 

As  we  moved  upon  the  field  Ayers'  division 
moved  off.  An  occasional  shot  developed  the  near 
presence  of  the  enemy,  but  the  fight  there  seemed 
to  be  over.  We  had  scarcely  moved  from  flank  into 
line,  however,  before  a  terrific  fire  was  opened  upon 
us  by  the  enemy.  Our  brigade  commander  was 
one  of  the  first  wounded  and  as  he  was  carried  off 
the  field  sent  his  staff  to  report  to  Col.  Jenney,  who 
was  thus  left  in  command  of  the  brigade. 

Col.  Jenney  appreciated  the  danger  of  attempt- 
ing to  hold  his  open  position  against  an  enemy 
substantially  covered,  and  instantly  ordered  the 
brigade  forward.  The  brigade  moved  in  excellent 
form.  No  command  to  charge  was  given.  It 
would  have  probably  been  dangerous  to  do  so,  as 
the  enemy  were  upon  both  our  flanks  and  it  was 
necessary  to  keep  the  troops  well  in  hand.  For- 
ward went  the  brigade,  through  the  smoke  and 
against  the  bullets.  It  was  the  work  of  a  few 
minutes  only.  There  was  no  wavering — con- 
17* 


stantly,  steadily  forward  !  The  firing  slackened, 
ceased— the  enemy  was  gone.  We  were  the 
masters  of  the  field. 

Many  brave  fellows  fell,  but  the  loss  was  slight 
compared  to  that  which  must  have  occurred  if  the 
enemy  had  not  at  once  been  driven  from  the  field. 

We  retained  our  position  until  evening  when  un- 
der cover  of  darkness  we  retired  to  the  main  line. 

After  the  engagement  Col.  Jenney  sent  Major 
Bush  to  reconnoiter  our  right  Bank  and  station 
pickets  ;  in  performing  which  duty,  when  scarcely 
out  of  speaking  distance  from  his  regiment,  con- 
cealed from  them  only  by  the  intervening  under- 
brush, he  was  captured  with  a  squad  of  his  men. 
He  was  sent  to  Libby  prison,  and  the  regiment, 
during  most  of  its  subsequent  service  was  deprived 
of  one  of  its  best  officers. 

The  brigade  was  warmly  commended  by  Gen. 
Griffin  for  its  gallant  service,  and  its  praise  was  fairly 
earned,  for  seldom  had  a  single  brigade  accom- 
plished so  important  results  at  so  small  a  sacrifice. 

After  this  engagement  the  regiment  went  into 
camp  at  Hatcher's  Run.  Here,  on  the  second  day 
after  the  battle,  Colonel  Jenney  took  his  departure 
from  the  regiment.  At  the  time  he  was  commis- 
sioned as  Colonel  of  the  regiment  he  was  Major 
of  the  3d  New  York  Artillery  and  acting  as  Provost 
Judge  of  North  Carolina  at  Newbern  and  had,  after 
notice  of  his  promotion,  been  taken  prisoner  by 
the  enemy,  as  has  been  stated  in  the  narrative 
of  "Jenney's  battery."  Notwithstanding  the  fact 
that  he  was  a  paroled  prisoner  he  had  been  mustered 
in  as  Colonel  of  the  regiment,  and  taken  the  regi- 
ment into  the  field.  He  expected  to  obtain  an  im- 
mediate exchange.  Rut  while  he  regarded  himself 
as  bound  by  his  parole,  the  War  Department  was 
of  the  opinion  that  the  officer  who  captured  and 
paroled  him  had  sufficient  authority  to  capture,  but 
none  to  parole,  and  that  Col.  Jenney  was  therefore 
to  be  regarded  as  an  escaped  rather  than  a  paroled 
prisoner. 

In  this  situation  Col.  Jenney  remained  during 
his  term  of  service  with  the  regiment.  He  en- 
deavored to  induce  the  Secretary  of  War  to  relieve 
him  from  the  responsibility  of  his  situation  by  mak- 
ing an  order  declaring  that  he  was  not  paroled  and 
ordering  him  upon  duty,  but  the  Secretary  of  War 
refused  to  do  so  lest  an  embarrassing  precedent 
might  thus  be  established. 

His  only  relief  from  this  unfortunate  situation 
seemed  to  be  to  retire  from  the  service,  and  accord- 
ingly he  had  forwarded  his  resignation  about  the 
mfddle  of  January.  This  resignation  had  been 
accepted,  and  an  order  honorably  discharging  him 


«30 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


from  service  had  been  received  by  Gen.  Griffin  just 
before  the  last  cni;agement.  At  his  request,  how- 
ever, it  had  been  retained  by  the  General  until  the 
advance  then  contemplated  had  been  made,  and 
now  was  delivered  to  him. 

Upon  the  morning  of  his  departure  the  regiment 
was  formed  in  square,  and  the  command  turned 
over  to  Lieut.-Col.  Sniper  in  a  short  speech,  praising 
the  regiment,  highly  complimenting  Col.  Sniper, 
and  reluctantly  saying  farewell. 

Col.  Sniper  was  immediately  promoted,  and  com- 
manded the  regiment  during  the  remainder  of  its 
service. 

The  regiment  remained  in  camp  at  Hatcher's 
Run  till  March  29,  1865,  when  the  grand  movement 
for  the  closing  struggle  of  the  rebellion  was  made. 
On  the  25th  of  March,  the  division  was  ordered  out 
before  daylight,  at  3  o'clock,  a.  m..  the  rebels  having 
made  an  assault  upon  Fort  Steedman,  near  City 
Point.  It  was  stated  in  the  order  that  an  attack 
was  probably  being  made  along  the  whole  line,  and 
that  a  general  engagement  was  imminent,  which 
proved  true.  General  Lee,  foreseeing  clearly  the 
speedy  downfall  of  the  Confederate  cause,  unless 
averted  by  a  prompt  concentration  of  his  remaining 
forces,  and  a  telling  blow  delivered  thereby  on  some 
one  of  our  encircling  aimies,  which  were  now  prob- 
ably crushing  out  the  life  of  the  Rebellion,  resolved 
to  anticipate  Grant's  initiative  by  an  attack  on  his 
lines  before  Petersburg  and  Richmond.  This  attack 
was  made  on  Fort  Steedman,  nearly  east  of  Peters- 
burg, where  its  success  would  have  cut  our  army 
in  two  and  probably  compelled  a  hasty  reconstruc- 
tion to  recover  our  lines  and  works  ;  thereby  open- 
ing a  door  for  the  unassailed  withdrawal  of  the  rebel 
army  southward  by  the  most  direct  route  to  unite 
with  that  of  Johnston,  and  thus  overpower  Sher- 
man. The  assault  was  delivered  by  Gordon  with 
two  divisions— all  the  disposable  rebel  army  of  Vir- 
ginia being  collected  just  behind  the  assaulting 
column  and  held  in  hand  as  a  support.  Gordon 
charged  at  daybreak  on  the  25th  of  March.  His 
men  rushed  instantly  across  the  narrow  space  sepa- 
rating the  confronting  lines,  and  pouring  into  Fort 
Steedman,  which  was  held  by  the  14th  New  York 
Artillery,  completely  surprised  and  captured  the 
garrison.  The  guns,  whereof  three  batteries  were 
taken  by  the  rebels,  were  instantly  turned  on  the 
adjacent  works  of  Fort  Haskell,  next  to  Fort  Steed- 
man on  the  left.  Here  their  triumph  ended.  They 
failed  to  rush  forward  and  sieze  the  crest  of  the 
ridge  behind  the  forts. 

The  20,000  men  whom  Lee  had  massed  in  the 
rear  of  the  charge  were  either  not  ordered  forward 


or  failed  to  respond.  The  result  was  that  instead 
of  cuttmg  our  army  in  two  as  they  had  intended, 
they  had  divided  their  own  and  isolated  a  portion  of 
it  in  the  midst  of  an  army  of  foes.  Our  forces 
rallied  and  swept  the  field,  capturing  2,000  prisoners. 
The  battle  lasted  till  after  nightfall.  About  3 
o'clock  p.  M.  an  attack  was  made  on  the  extreme 
left,  where  the  185th  were  on  the  right  of  the  2d 
corps  and  in  the  thick  of  the  fight.  A  terrible 
battle  soon  raged  along  the  entire  line.  The  ground 
was  soon  covered  with  the  dead  and  wounded, 
among  whom  fell  several  of  the  185th.  The  rebels 
were  driven  back  with  heavy  loss.  The  reports  of 
the  battle  make  the  loss  about  equal  on  both  sides 
— 2,500  besides  the  2,000  rebel  prisoners  taken  by 
our  army.  After  the  battle  our  soldiers  returned 
to  camp  at  Hatcher's  Run  and  remained  till  the 
29th  of  March,  at  which  date  Gen.  Grant  had  de- 
termined to  advance  the  left  wing  of  his  army.  On 
the  28th,  orders  were  received  to  move  at  3  o'clock 
ne.xt  morning.  Three  divisions  of  the  Army  of  the 
James,  now  commanded  by  Gen.  Ord,  being  with- 
drawn from  the  banks  of  the  James  River,  where  it 
had  menaced  Richmond,  and  brought  over  to  the 
left  of  our  lines  facing  Petersburg.  V\'arren's  (5th) 
and  Humphreys'  (2d)  corps  moved  quietly  out 
southward  till  they  had  crossed  Hatcher's  Run, 
when,  facing  northward,  they  advanced  cautious- 
ly, feeling  for  the  enemy's  right.  Sheridan  was  on 
our  extreme  left  at  the  head  of  nearly  10.000  cav- 
alry, acting  under  orders  directly  from  Gen.  Grant. 
The  9th  (Parke's)  and  one  of  Ord's  divisions  were 
left  to  hold  our  extended  lines  under  the  command 
of  Gen.  Parke ;  all  dismounted  troopers  being  ordered 
to  report  to  Gen.  Benham,  who  guarded  our  im- 
mense depot  of  supplies  at  City  Point. 

Humphreys  crossed  Hatcher's  Run  at  the 
Vaughan  Road  ;  Warren,  moving  further  to  the 
left,  crossed  four  miles  below  (the  stream  here,  since 
its  junction  with  Gravelly  Run,  being  Rowanty 
Creek,)  and  moved  up  the  Quaker  Road,  to  strike 
the  Boydton  Plank  Road  ;  Sheridan  moved  nearly 
south  to  Dinwiddle  Court  House,  where,  at  5  p.  m., 
he  halted  for  the  night.  Warren's  corps  alone,  en- 
countered any  serious  resistance  on  this  day,  the 
29th.  Continuing  their  march  till  about  2  o'clock, 
they  arrived  at  Quaker  Farm  and  were  there  met 
by  the  enemy.  A  fierce  engagement  ensued. 
During  the  action  our  forces  were  being  repulsed, 
the  2d  division  retreating  in  great  disorder,  when 
Gen  Chamberlain,  in  command  of  the  ist  briga.de, 
rode  up  to  the  Colonel  of  the  185th,  saying  :  "  For 
God's  sake,  Col.  Sniper,  can  you  save  the  day  with 
your  regiment  ?"     The  Colonel  replied  :    "  General, 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


i.^i 


I  can  try."  He  immediately  formed  his  regiment 
in  line  of  battle.  The  balance  of  the  brigade,  con- 
sisting of  the  189th  Pennsylvania,  had  shared  in  the 
retreat,  leaving  the  185th  to  stand  the  ground  alone. 
They  were  ordered  to  charge  the  enemy.  The 
charge  was  made  with  great  spirit  over  an  eminence, 
where  they  met  the  advancing  columns  of  the  rebels 
in  pursuit  of  our  retreating  forces,  and,  making  a 
desperate  charge,  hurled  back  the  foe,  but  with 
great  loss  to  our  gallant  regiment.  The  killed  and 
wounded  were  180  ;  all  the  officers  of  some  of  the 
companies  were  either  killed  or  disabled  ;  so  that 
there  were  not  line  officers  enough  to  command  the 
regiment. 

This  charge  lasted  scarcely  more  than  half  an 
hour,  but  it  was  one  of  the  most  desperate  and  im- 
portant in  its  results  of  any  during  the  war.  The 
aim  of  the  rebels  seemed  to  be  to  shoot  down  our 
colors.  William  Tyler,  of  Company  D,  was  Color- 
Bearer  of  the  regiment.  He  was  shot  first.  The 
colors  were  then  seized  by  a  private,  who  was  im- 
mediately shot.  Private  Benjamin  Wilson,  of  Com- 
pany D,  then  seized  and  bore  aloft  the  fallen  stand- 
ard, but  was  instantly  shot  and  wounded.  Then 
Private  Herman  Rice,  of  Company  B,  sprang  for- 
ward and  raised  the  colors,  but  the  arm  which  lifted 
them  was  immediately  pierced  by  a  rebel  ball,  and 
they  again  fell.  Col.  Sniper  being  dismounted  in 
the  thick  of  the  charge,  seeing  the  colors  drop, 
rushed  forward  and  seized  them,  and  whirling  them 
above  his  head,  shouted,  "Men  of  the  185th,  for- 
ward !"  A  wild  yell  was  sent  up  from  the  ranks, 
and  rushing  forward  with  their  gallant  leader,  the 
day  was  won.  After  the  engagement  the  general 
officers  complimented  Col.  Sniper  in  person  upon 
the  gallantry  and  valor  of  his  regiment  in  that  ter- 
rible charge,  and  said  that  they  had  saved  the  day. 

March  30th  and  31st.  While  the  Union  forces 
were  driving  the  rebels,  several  minor  engagements 
occurred.  Warren  had  pushed  forward  skirmishers 
on  his  left  to  seize  the  White  Oak  Road  beyond  the 
rebel  right,  and  had  ordered  Ayers  to  advance 
Winthrop's  brigade  through  the  woods  to  support 
the  effort.  At  half  past  10  a.  m.,  Lee  dealt  him  an 
unexpected  and  staggering  blow,  striking  Ayres 
heavily  in  flank  and  rear,  hurling  his  division  back 
on  Crawford's,  which  likewise  broke.  For  a 
moment  there  was  a  prospect  of  another  Chancel- 
lorsville.  But  behind  these  two  stood  Griffin's 
division,  well  posted  in  more  open  ground,  whence 
it  refused  to  be  driven.  It  held  its  ground  against 
the  rebel  advance  till  the  routed  divisions  rallied  and 
formed  behind  it,  enabling  Warren  to  assume  the 
offensive.     Humphreys  sent  in  Miles'  division  on 


Warren's  right  to  strike  the  enemy's  left  flank. 
Before  these  well-timed  charges  the  enemy  recoiled, 
taking  refuge  behind  his  intrenchments  along  the 
White  Oak  Road,  and  losing  heavily  in  prisoners. 
Meantime  Sheridan  had  advanced  to  Five  Forks 
and  had  fought  the  rebels  from  there  to  Dinwiddle 
Court  House  and  back— one  of  the  most  brilliant 
actions  of  the  war. 


CHAPTER  XXX. 

One  Hundred  and  Eighty-Fifth  Regiment 
Continued  —  Battle  of  Five  Forks  —  Bom- 
bardment OF  Petersburg — Lee's  Telegram 
to  Jeff.  D.a^vis — Evacuation  of  Richmond — 
Flight  and  Capture  of  the  Rebel  Army — 
Return  Home  of  the  Regiment  —  List  of 
Promotions. 

THE  battle  of  Five  Forks,  one  of  the  most 
memorable  of  the  great  campaigns  which 
closed  the  rebellion,  was  begun  on  Saturday,  April 
I,  at  about  3  p.  m.,  and  continued  without  cessation 
of  firing  till  Sunday  morning  at  daylight.  Nearly 
the  entire  force  on  both  sides  was  engaged.  The 
5th  corps  was  on  the  right  and  in  the  hottest  part 
of  the  contest.  The  rebels  were  strongly  intrenched 
and  fought  with  desperation,  knowing  their  fate 
depended  on  the  battle.  Adjutant  Mudge,  of  Col. 
Sniper's  staff,  was  severely  wounded  in  the  arm, 
which  resulted  in  the  permanent  loss  of  its  use,  and 
several  officers  and  privates  were  killed  and  wounded. 
During  this  battle  4,022  rebel  prisoners  were  taken. 
Greeley,  speaking  of  this  battle,  says  :  '■  The  Con- 
federates, facing  their  foes  in  each  direction,  stood 
bravely  to  their  arms.  *  *  *  In  a  few  minutes 
Ayers'  division  burst  over  their  flank  intrenchments 
taking  1,000  prisoners  ;  while  Griffin  struck  their 
refused  flank  in  the  rear,  capturing  1,500  more  ;  and 
Crawford,  resisted  only  by  skirmishers,  pressed  for- 
ward rapidly  to  the  Ford  Road,  running  northward 
from  their  center,  precluding  the  retreat  towards 
Lee ;  and  then  turning  southward  on  that  road, 
came  rapidly  down  upon  their  rear,  taking  four  guns 
■ — our  cavalry  all  the  time  sharply  assailing  their 
front  and  right,  and  at  length  charging  over  their 
intrenchments,  as  Ayers  and  Griffin,  having  turned 
their  left  out  of  its  works,  bore  down  upon  its  re- 
newed front,  hurling  all  that  remained  of  the 
enemy  in  disorderly  flight  westward,  charged 
and  pursued  for  miles  by  our  cavalry,  until  long 
after  dark,  and  until  our  prisoners  exceeded  5,000  ; 
while  our  total  loss  this  day  (April  i.)  was  about 
1,000.  At  this  cost  Lee's  right  wing  had  been  sub- 
stantially demolished.     Among  our  killed  was  Brig. 


>32 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


Gen.  Frederick  Winthrop,  Colonel  of  the  9th  New 
York,  and  cousin  of  Major  Theodore  Winlhroj), 
killed  at  Big  Bethel."  Griffin  was  now  ordered 
with  two  divisions  of  infantry  to  Gravelly  Church, 
some  miles  towards  Petersburg,  to  reopen  his  com- 
munication with  the  rest  of  the  army,  while 
Griffin's  own  division  (now  Bartlett's)  supported 
McKinzie's  cavalry,  which  had  pushed  northward 
up  the  Ford  Road  to  Hatcher's  Run.  As  darkness 
set  in,  our  guns  in  position  in  front  of  Petersburg 
opened  from  right  to  left,  making  the  night  lurid 
with  a  bombardment  that  proclaimed  the  signal 
victory  just  achieved  on  our  left,  and  predicted 
more  decisive  triumphs  at  hand.  Parke  and  Ord 
assaulted  the  rebel  works  at  daybreak  on  Sunday 
morning,  April  2,  carrying  with  the  9th  corps  the 
outer  line,  but  being  intercepted  by  an  inner  line 
behind  them,  which  he  could  not  force.  Wright,  , 
on  his  left,  with  the  6th  corps,  supported  by  two 
divisions  of  Ord's,  charging  at  dawn,  drove  every- 
thing before  him  up  to  the  Boydton  Road,  on  which, 
wheeling  to  the  left  towards  Hatcher's  Run,  he 
swept  down  the  rear  of  the  rebel  intrenchments, 
capturing  many  guns  and  several  thousand  prison- 
ers. Meantime  Ord'solher  division  had  forced  the 
enemy's  lines  at  the  Run,  and  now  Wright  and  Ord 
swung  to  the  right,  pressing  on  Petersburg  from  the 
west,  while  Humphreys,  to  the  left,  with  Hayes' 
and  Mott's  divisions  of  the  2d  corps,  having  stormed  j 
a  redoubt  in  his  front,  came  up  with  two  divisions, 
closing  in  on  their  left.  Thereupon  the  rebel  lines 
defending  Petersburg  on  the  south  were  assaulted 
by  Gibbon's  division  of  Ord's  corps,  which  carried 
by  storm  two  strong  and  important  works — Forts 
Gregg  and  Alexander.  This  shortened  our  be-  , 
sieging  lines,  and  weakened  the  rebel  defence  of  the 
city.  Lee,  seeing  that  Petersburg  must  soon  fall, 
telegraphed  to  Jeff.  Davis  at  Richmond  at  half-past 
10  A.  M..  on  Sunday,  April  2 :  ' 

"  My  lines  are  broken  in  three  places.     Richmond 
^ust  be  evacuated  this  evening." 

The  message  reached  Davis  at  1 1  a.  m.  in  church, 
when  he  quietly  read  it  and  retired.  It  produced  a 
profound  dread  and  apprehension  of  the  impending 
fate  of  the  city.  "  Men,  women  and  children 
rushed  from  the  churches,  passing  from  lip  to  lip 
the  news  of  the  impending  fall  of  Richmond  ;  or, 
whispering  with  white  lips,  the  foe,  thej'  come,  they 
come." 

This  was  a  terrible  revelation  to  burst  in  upon 
the  calm  of  that  beautiful  spring  Sunday  morning. 
Says  Pollard  :  "  It  was  difficult  to  believe  it.  To 
look  up  to  the  calm,  beautiful  sky  of  that  spring 
day,    unassailed  by  one  single  noise  of  battle,  to 


watch  the  streets,  unvexed  by  artillery  or  troops, 
stretching  away  into  the  quiet,  hazy  atmosphere, 
and  believe  that  the  capital  of  the  Confederacy, 
so  peaceful,  so  apparently  secure,  was  in  a  few  hours 
to  be  the  prey  of  the  enemy,  and  to  be  wrapped  in 
the  infernal  horrors  of  a  conflagration  !  " 

Richmond  was  evacuated  that  night.  The  rebels 
set  fire  to  the  city  with  their  own  hands.  The 
flames  were  quenched  before  producing  utter  de- 
struction by  Union  soldiers  who  first  entered  the 
city  under  Gen.  Weitzel,  Monday  morning.  April  3, 
1865.  Before  noon  of  that  day  the  news  of  Rich- 
mond's fall  had  been  flashed  across  the  loyal  States, 
and  was  soon  confirmed  by  telegrams  from  President 
Lincoln,  then  at  City  Point,  and  from  the  Secretary 
of  War  at  Washington.  Petersburg  was  evacuated 
simultaneously  with  Richmond,  and  so  noiselessly 
that  our  pickets,  scarcely  a  stone's  throw  from  the 
abandoned  lines,  knew  not  that  the  enemy  were  mov- 
ing till  morning  showed  that  they  were  gone.  The 
rebel  government,  with  its  belongings,  had  passed 
down  the  railroad  several  miles  north  of  Petersburg 
to  Danville,  where  it  halted,  and  whither  Lee  hoped 
to  follow  with  the  rest  of  his  army,  and  thence  form  a 
junction  with  Johnston  in  North  Carolina.  Here 
the  last  important  battle  before  the  surrender,  oc- 
curred, in  which  our  arrhy  took  1,400  prisoners. 
On  the  6th  of  April,  Gen.  Davies  struck  Lee's 
train,  moving  in  advance  of  his  infantry,  at  Paine's 
Cross  Roads,  and  destroyed  180  wagons,  capturing 
four  guns  and  a  large  number  of  prisoners.  Ord, 
on  the  same  day,  reaching  out  from  Jetersville, 
struck  the  head  of  Lee's  advancing  columns  at 
Farmville,  as  it  was  preparing  to  cross  the  Appo- 
matto.x.  Here  a  sharp  engagement  took  place. 
Brig.-Gen.  Theodore  Read  was  killed.  The  attack, 
however,  arrested  the  march  of  the  enemy.  Lee 
crossed  the  Appomattox  on  the  night  of  the  6th, 
and  his  rear  guard  had  just  crossed  and  set  fire  to 
the  bridges  at  dawn  on  the  morning  of  the  7th,  when 
the  second  corps  (Humphreys')  which  had  now 
taken  the  lead,  rushed  up  in  time  to  save  the  bridge 
on  the  wagon  road.  Over  this  Barlow's  division 
crossed,  capturing  18  guns  which  had  been  aban- 
doned by  the  rear  guard  of  the  rebels  in  their  hasty 
retreat.  The  rebels  halted  and  intrenched  them- 
selves four  or  five  miles  north  of  Farmville,  where 
they  were  attacked  by  a  portion  of  our  forces,  and 
again  retreated  on  the  night  of  the  7th  to  Appo- 
mattox Station.  Here  they  were  overtaken  on 
Sunday  the  9th  by  our  main  force.  Griffin  and 
Ord,  with  the  5th,24lh,and  one  division  of  the2Slh 
corps,  by  a  forced  march,  reached  Appomattox  Sta- 
tion about  daylight  in  the  morning.     Greeley  gives 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


133 


the  following  account  of  the  situation,  when  the  two 
armies  confronted  each  other  for  the  last  time  as 
belligerents  : 

"Sheridan  was  with  his  cavalry  near  the  Court 
House,  when  the  Army  of  Virginia  made  its  last 
charge.  By  his  order,  his  troopers,  who  were  in 
line  of  battle,  dismounted,  giving  ground  gradually 
while  showing  a  steady  front,  so  as  to  allow  our 
weary  infantry  time  to  form  and  take  position. 
This  effected,  the  horsemen  moved  swiftly  to  the 
right  and  mounted,  revealing  lines  of  solid  infantry 
in  battle  array,  before  whose  wall  of  gleaming 
bayonets  the  astonished  enemy  recoiled  in  blank 
despair,  as  Sheridan  and  his  troopers,  passing 
briskly  round  the  rebel  left,  prepared  to  charge  the 
confused,  reeling  mass.  A  white  flag  was  now 
waved  by  the  enemy  before  Gen.  Custer,  who  held 
our  cavalry  advance,  with  the  information  that  they 
had  concluded  to  surrender.  Riding  over  to  Appo- 
mattox Court  House,  Gen.  Sheridan  was  met  by 
Gen.  Gordon,  who  requested  a  suspension  of  hostili- 
ties, with  the  assurance  that  negotiations  were 
then  pending  between  Gens.  Grant  and  Lee  for  a 
capitulation." 

The  correspondence  had  begun  between  the 
two  generals  on  the  7th  of  April,  and  the  capit- 
ulation was  completed  on  the  9th.  Lieutenant 
Hiram  Clark  of  Company  G,  in  the  185th  regiment, 
was  the  last  man  killed  in  the  war.  He  had  com- 
mand of  the  skirmish  line  at  Appomatto.x  before 
the  surrender,  and  while  the  flag  of  truce  was  be- 
ing borne  in,  was  struck  and  completely  disem- 
boweled by  a  rebel  shell.  He  was  buried  under 
a  chestnut  tree  near  Appomattox  Court  House. 
He  was  a  noble  officer  and  much  beloved  by  his 
regiment. 

After  the  surrender,  the  i8sth,  with  some  other 
regiments,  were  detailed  to  take  charge  of  the  rebel 
prisons  and  to  collect  the  rebel  arms  and  munitions 
of  war  ;  and  were  thus  occupied  for  four  or  five 
days.  The  arms  and  ammunition  were  sent  to 
Burksville.  Among  them  were  52  brass  cannon, 
very  fine  pieces,  which  had  been  dismantled  and 
buried  by  the  Confederates  on  the  field  at  Appo- 
mattox. 

The  Union  forces,  except  the  2d  corps,  were 
ordered  towards  Danville  to  assist  Gen.  Sherman, 
and  were  sent  forward  to  Burksville.  The  185th, 
after  three  days  in  camp,  were  ordered  to  Wilson's 
Station  on  the  South-side  Railroad,  where  they  re- 
mained in  camp  till  the  first  of  May,  and  were  thence 
ordered  to  move  to  Manchester,  across  the  James 
from  Richmond.  On  the  5th  of  May  they  received 
marching  orders  for  Alexandria,  started  on  Satur- 
day morning,  the  6th,  and  that  day  crossed  the  Pa- 
munkey  River  on  pontoons  ;  passing  through  Bow- 
ling Green,  they  crossed  the  Rappahannock  at  Fred- 


ericksburg, and  arrived  at  Arlington  Heights  on 
the  13th,  at  8  o'clock  a.  m.,  after  a  tedious  all-night 
march.  They  remained  in  camp  at  Arlington 
Heights  till  the  grand  review  in  the  City  of  Wash- 
ington, on  the  23d  of  May,  1865,  when  the  Presi- 
dent reviewed  the  entire  army.  Returning  to  camp 
after  the  review,  they  remained  till  they  were  mus- 
tered out  of  the  service  on  the  30th  day  of  May,  a. 
D.,  1865.  Leaving  Arlington  at  3  p.  m.,  on  the 
31st,  they  met  with  a  grand  reception  of  citizens  on 
their  way  home,  at  Geneva,  N.  Y.,  and  arrived  in 
Syracuse  on  the  3d  day  of  June,  where  a  committee 
of  their  fellow-citizens  were  in  readiness  to  give 
them  a  welcome  home.  On  the  loth  of  June,  at 
Camp  White,  they  were  paid  off  and  discharged  by 
Major  Littlefield,  Paymaster. 

Official   Record  and  List  of  Promotions  of 
THE  185TH  Regiment. 

Edwin  S.  Jenney,  Col.,  rank  from  Sept.  19,  '64, 
discharged  Feb.  3,  '65  ;  Gustavus  Sniper,  Lieut. - 
Col.,  rank  from  Sept.  17,  '64,  promoted  to  Col. 
Feb.  14,  '65,  (Brevet  Brig.-Gen.,  U.  S  V.)  mustered 
out  with  the  regiment  May  30,  '65  ;  Theodore  M. 
Barber,  ist  Lieut.,  rank  from  Sept.  19, '64,  promoted 
to  Capt.,  Jan.  3, '65,  to  Lieut.-Col.  Mar.  30,  '65, 
mustered  out  May  30,  '65  ;  John  Leo,  Major,  rank 
from  Sept.  19,  '64,  died  of  disease  Dec.  3,  '64; 
Robert  P.  Bush,  Capt ,  rank  from  Sept.  24,  '64, 
promoted  to  Major  Dec.  3,  '64,  mustered  out  May 
30,  '65  ;  Byron  Mudge,  Adj't,  rank  from  Sept.  7, 
'64,  mustered  out  May  30, '65  ;  William  Gilbert,  Q. 
M.,  rank  from  Sept.  2,  '64,  mustered  out  May  30, 
'65  ;  Charles  W.  Crary,  Surgeon,  rank  from  Sept. 
17,  '64,  mustered  out  May  30,  '65,  (Brevet  Lieut.- 
Col.,  N.  Y.  V.j ;  Gilbert  \.  Newcomb,  Assistant- 
Surgeon,  rank  from  Sept.  26,  '64,  mustered  out 
May  30,  '65  ;  William  M.  Bradford,  Asst. -Surgeon, 
rank  from  Sept.  26,  '64,  mustered  out  May  30,  '65  ; 
Chester  W.  Hawley,  Chaplain,  rank  from  Oct.  10, 
'64,  resigned  April' 29, '65  ;  Stephen  O.  Howard, 
Capt.,  rank  from  Sept.  2,  '64,  mustered  out  May 
30,  '65  (Brevet  Major,  U.  S.  V. );  John  W.  Strow- 
bridge,  Capt.,  rank  from  Sept.  7,  '64,  mustered  out 
May  30,  '65  ;  Albert  H.  Barber,  Capt.,  rank  from 
Sept.  13,  '64,  mustered  out  May  30, '65  ;  John  List- 
man,  Capt.,  rank  from  Sept.  17,  '64,  mustered  out 
May  30,  '65  ;  E.  M.  Bander,  ist  Lieut,  rank  from 
Sept.  2,  '64,  promoted  to  Capt.  Feb.  3,  '65,  not  mus- 
tered, died  April  15,  '65;  W.  A.  Rapp,  ist  Lieut,  rank 
from  Sept.  17,  '64,  promoted  to  Capt.  May  11,  '65, 
mustered  out  May  30,  '65  ;  Henry  D.  Carhart, 
Capt.,  rank  from  Sept.  19,  '64,  died  before  muster  ; 
John  T.  Hostler,  ist  Lieut.,  rank  from  Sept.  19,  '64' 
promoted  to  Capt.  Dec.  24,  '64,  (Brevet  Capt.  U. 
S.  V.,)  discharged  June  2,  '65,  (Brevet  Major  U.  S. 
V.) ;  Daniel  L.  Lathrop,  Capt,  rank  from  Sept.  19, 
'64,  mustered  out  May  30,'65;  David  Chrysler,  Capt, 
rank  from  Sept.  19,  '64,  mustered  out  May  30,  '65  ; 
Jared  T.  Abbott,  Capt,  rank  from  Sept.  19,  64, 
mustered  out  May   30,  '65  ;  Abram  Spore,  Capt., 


»34 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


rank  from  Sept.  19.  '64,  mustered  out  May  30,  '65  ; 
Daniel  Minicr,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Sept.  13,  '64, 
promoted  to  ist  Lieut.  Feb.  3,  '65,  killed  in  action 
March  29,  '65  ;  Andrew  J.  Lyman,  ist  Lieut.,  rank 
from  Sept.  7,  64,  mustered  out  May  30, '65  ;  Hiram 
Clark,  1st  Lieut.,  rank  from  Sept.  13,  '64,  killed  in 
action  April  9,  '65  ;  Henry  H.  Kelsey,  ist  Lieut., 
rank  from  April  27.  '65,  mustered  out  May  30,  '65  ; 
Pembroke  Pierce,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Sept.  17, 
'64,  promoted  to  ist  Lieut.  May  11,  '65,  mustered 
out  May  30,  '65  ;  Herbert  C.  Rorepaugh,  ist 
Lieut.,  rank  from  Sept.  17,  '64,  mustered  out 
May  10,  '65  ;  F.  Augustus  Schemerhorn,  2d 
Lieut.,  rank  from  Dec.  23,  64,  promoted  to  ist 
Lieut.  Jan.  23,  '65,  mustered  out  May  30,  '65  ; 
Lewis  Edgar,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Sept.  19,  '64, 
promoted  to  ist  Lieut.,  Dec.  24,  '64,  mustered  out 
May  30.  '65  ;  Stephen  S.  Jordan,  ist  Lieut.,  rank 
from  Sept.  19,  '64,  discharged  Feb.  27, '65  ;  Jerome 
C.  Gates,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Dec.  4, '64,  promoted 
to  1st  Lieut.  Mar.  30,  '65,  mustered  out  May  30, 
'65  ;  H.  Wadsworth  Clarke,  1st  Lieut.,  rank  from 
Sept.  19, '64,  (Brevet  Capt.  X.  Y.  V.  1,  mustered 
out  May  30,  '65  ;  Cyrus  A.  Phillips,  ist  Lieut., 
rank  from  Sept.  19.  '64,  not  mustered,  commission 
revoked  ;  Thomas  S.  Wallace,  ist  Lieut.,  rank  from 
Dec.  23,  '64,  not  mustered,  failed  to  report  to  regi- 
ment; William  A.  Brooks,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from 
Sept.  2,  '64,  discharged  Mar.   20,  '65  :  William  H. 


Hamilton,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  April  27,  '65, 
mustered  out  May  30,  "65  ;  Harrison  Givins,  2d 
Lieut.,  rank  from  Sept.  7,  "64,  discharged  Dec.  28, 
'64;  A.  A.  Abbott,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  April  27, 
'65.  resigned  May  22.  '65  :  John  L  Isaacs,  2d  Lieut  . 
rank  from  Feb.  3,  '65,  mustered  out  May  30,  '65 
John  Hcrron,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Sept.  17,  '64! 
mustered  out  May  30,  '65  ;  J.  W.  Mercer,  2d  Lieut.] 
rank  from  April  27,  '65,  mustered  out  May  30,  '65  ; 
Warren  L.  Winslow,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from"  May  19, 
'65,  not  mustered  ;  Charles  G.  Rector,  2d  Lieut., 
rank  from  Sept.  19,  '64,  (Brevet  Capt.  U.  S. 
v.,  I  mustered  out  May  30,  '65  ;  Henry  Q.  Kings- 
ley,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Sept.  19,  '64,  died  of 
disease  Mar.  31, '65  ;  Norman  W.  Smith.  2d  Lieut., 
rank  from  April  27,  '65.  mustered  out  May  30,  '65  ; 
Stephen  Hitchcock,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Sept.  19, 
'64,  not  mustered,  commission  revoked  ;  Daniel  L. 
Baker,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Mar.  21,  '65,  mustered 
out  May  30,  '65  ;  Jacob  M.  Doran,  2d  Lieut.,  rank 
from  Sept.  19,  '64,  discharged  Mar.  20.  '65  ;  Hiram 
Wiard.  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  Mar.  20.  '65,  mustered 
out  May  30.  '65  ;  B.  H.  Smith,  2d  Lieut.,  rank 
from  Mar.  20,  '65,  not  mustered ;  Frederick  H. 
Bremen,  2d  Lieut.,  rank  from  April  27,  '65,  not 
mustered. 

Private  A.  Everson,  of  this  regiment,  was  awarded 
a  medal  of  honor  by  the  Secretary  of  War. 


HISTORY 


OF  THE 


CITY  OF  SYRACUSE 


INTRODUCTION. 

THE  City  of  Syracuse  is  situated  on  the  line 
of  the  New  York  Central  Railroad,  a  very 
little  over  three  hundred  miles  from  the  city  of  New 
York,  and  is  the  county  seat  of  Onondaga  county. 
From  its  central  location  both  in  the  county  and  the 
State,  it  has  also  received  the  appropriate  name  of 
the  Central  City.  Besides  the  Central  Railroad, 
which  cuts  through  its  center,  there  are  the  Oswego 
and  Syracuse  division  of  the  Delaware,  Lackawanna 
and  Western,  the  Syracuse,  Binghamton  and  New 
York,  the  Syracuse  Northern  and  the  Syracuse  and 
Chenango  Valley  railroads,  lending  their  trade  and 
commerce,  together  with  the  Erie  and  Oswego 
canals.  The  growth  of  the  city  has  been  remarka- 
ble, considering  the  condition  of  things  in  this 
locality  sixty  years  ago,  when  the  site  was  a  dismal 
and  unhealthy  swamp,  and  there  were  no  roads  nor 
other  means  of  communication  with  the  outside 
world.  The  few  huts  then  planted  in  the  wilder- 
ness have  given  place  to  palatial  residences,  grand 
and  imposing  business  structures,  elegant  churches 
and  broad  and  spacious  streets  and  avenues.  On 
every  hand  may  be  seen  a  wealth  of  architectural 
beauty  and  a  profusion  and  elegance  of  public  and 
private  grounds,  parks,  lawns,  cultivated  trees, 
shrubbery  and  flower  gardens,  which  contrast  strik- 
ingly with  the  rude  and  straggling  hamlet  of  even 
fifty  years  past.  From  a  small  village  of  about 
three  hundred  inhabitants,  Syracuse  has  emerged 
into  a  city  of  nearly  sixty  thousand  people.  It  is 
interesting  to  trace  the  history  of  such  a  city  from 
its  beginning,  and  to  note  its  different  steps  of  pro- 
gress, till  it  has  attained  the  eminent  position  it 
holds   to-day   among    the    centers    of  commercial 


wealth,   civilization   and  social    refinement,  of  our 
country. 


Original  Site  of  the  City. 

The  original  site  of  Syracuse  was  known  as  the 
"  Walton  Tract."  It  consisted  of  two  hundred  and 
fifty  acres  of  the  Salt  Springs  Reservation,  sold  by 
act  of  the  Legislature  in  1804,  and  purchased  by 
Abraham  Walton  in  June  of  that  year,  for  the  sum 
of  six  thousand  five  hundred  and  fifty  dollars,  or 
about  twenty-six  dollars  and  twenty  cents  an  acre. 
The  land  was  located  and  surveyed  by  James  Ged- 
des,  under  the  direction  of  the  Surveyor-General, 
Simeon  DeWitt,  and  the  proceeds  applied  to  the 
improvement  of  a  portion  of  the  old  Seneca  Turn- 
pike, running  from  lot  No.  49  in  Manlius  to  lot  No. 
38  in  Onondaga.  The  boundaries  of  this  tract  ap- 
pear from  the  old  maps  of  Syracuse  to  have  been 
laid  out  by  Mr.  Geddes  in  a  very  irregular  form, 
owing  to  his  attempt  to  avoid  the  swamp,  which, 
however,  he  was  unable  to  do.  A  considerable 
portion  of  the  land  lay  under  water  most  of  the  year. 
In  the  advertisement  for  the  sale  of  the  land  it  was 
announced  that  the  tract  contained  a  good  mill  site. 
But  it  was  so  low  and  swampy  that  certain  parties 
at  Salina  and  Onondaga  Hollow  ridiculed  the  idea. 
This  aroused  the  Surveyor-General,  and  putting  a 
spirit-level  in  his  gig  he  drove  all  the  way  from 
Albany  to  Syracuse  to  personally  inspect  the 
premises  and  put  the  question  of  the  water  power 
at  rest.  Judge  Geddes  was  employed  to  make  the 
survey  of  the  mill  site,  and  it  is  a  curious  illustra- 
tion of  how  small  a  circumstance  will  often  change 
the  whole  current  of  a  man's  life,  when  it  is  re- 
membered that   this  single   use  of  the  Surveyor- 


«36 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


General's  spirit-level  by  Mr.  Geddes  was  the  incit- 
ing cause  which  led  him  to  become  the  surveyor 
and  engineer  of  the  Erie  Canal. 

First  Acting  Treasurer  of  Syracuse. 
The  Commissioners  to  receive  and  disburse  the 
money  arising  from  the  sale  of  the  Walton  Tract 
were  James  Geddes,  Moses  Carpenter  and  John 
Young.  Mr.  Geddes  was  appointed  Treasurer,  but 
on  account  of  his  absence  from  home  during  the 
construction  of  the  road,  Mrs.  Geddes  acted  in  his 
place,  paying  out  the  money  upon  the  orders  of  the 
contractors.  Thus  a  woman,  Mrs.  James  Geddes, 
mother  of  Hon.  George  Geddes  of  Fairmount,  be- 
came the  acting  treasurer  in  the  first  financial  trans- 
actions relating  to  Syracuse. 

First  Tavern  in   Syracuse. 

Although  the  avails  of  the  sale  of  the  Walton 
Purchase  were  required  by  the  act  of  1804  to  be 
appropriated  to  the  improvement  of  a  road,  as  above 
mentioned,  there  was  a  stipulation  in  the  terms  of 
sale  making  it  obligatory  upon  the  purchaser  to 
cause  to  be  erected  within  a  certain  specified  time 
a  suitable  building  for  a  tavern  or  house  of  enter- 
tainment for  the  accommodation  of  travelers.  Mr. 
Walton,  accordingly,  in  1804,  upon  laying  out  lots 
for  a  village,  sold  to  Henry  Rogardus  for  the  con- 
sideration of  $300,  half  an  acre  of  ground,  binding 
him  to  erect  within  a  reasonable  time  a  suitable 
house  for  a  tavern  and  to  keep  or  cause  one  to  be 
kept.  The  half  acre  included  the  site  of  the  pres- 
ent Empire  Block,  on  which  Mr.  Bogardus  erected 
his  tavern  in  1806.  It  was  a  wooden  building, 
thirty-five  by  forty-five  feet  on  the  ground,  and  two 
stories  high.  Mr.  Bogardus  was  succeeded  by  Mr. 
Burlingham  in  1808,  by  Joseph  Langdon  in  1810, 
by  James  Ingalls  in  1812,  and  by  Sterling  Cossit 
in  1815. 

First  Cabins    on  the  Site  of  Syracuse. 

Besides  the  trading  house  of  Ephraim  Webster, 
vvhich  had  been  established  on  the  west  bank  of 
Onondaga  Creek,  a  short  distance  south  of  its  con- 
fluence with  the  lake,  at  a  place  subsequently 
known  as  "Webster's  Landing,"  in  1786,  several 
persons  had  erected  log  cabins  in  the  vicinity  of 
where  Mr.  Bogardus  built  his  hotel,  before  the  origi- 
nal tract  had  been  purchased  by  Mr.  Walton.  The 
full  names  of  these  parties  have  been  unfortunately 
lost,  but  some  of  them  given  by  Mr.  Clark  are  as 
follows:  Mr.  Hopkins  in  1797,  and  Mr.  Butler  in 
1799.  The  cabins  of  these  pioneers  were  located 
a  little  west  of  the  Oswego  Canal  bridge,  near  a 
spring  north  of  the  late  General  Granger's  residence. 

In  the  Spring  of  1800,  Calvin  Jackson  became  a 


resident,  building  a  small  log  house  a  little  south  of 
where  the  Central  Railroad  crosses  Genesee  street. 
Here,  on  the  28th  of  December,  1800,  was  born 
Albion  Jackson,  supposed  to  have  been  the  first 
white  child  born  in  Syracuse,  outside  of  that  part 
of  it  formerly  known  as  Salina.  Mr.  Jackson  was 
the  father  of  John  J.  Jackson,  late  a  resident  of  the 
town  of  Onondaga,  and  formerly  Indian  Agent  at 
the  Reservation. 

William  Lee  and  Aaron  Cole,  the  first  blacksmiths, 
opened  a  shop  in  1805.  In  the  same  year  Amos 
Stanton,  father  of  Rufus  Stanton,  located  near  the 
Salina  Street  bridge.  Dr.  Swan  erected  a  small 
frame  house  in  1807.  Jonathan  Fay  settled  near 
the  site  of  the  Old  Court  House  in  1808.  Rufus 
Stanton  kept  a  tavern  near  the  Salina  Street 
bridge  in  181 1.  The  building  is  still  standing  on 
the  east  side  of  the  street  just  south  of  the  bridge, 
and  is  occupied  by  Mr.  David  Ouinlan  as  a  private 
residence.  This,  or  a  house  built  by  Mr.  Walton 
in  1805  or  in  1806,  for  some  of  his  mill  hands,  a 
portion  of  which  may  still  be  seen  near  the  railroad 
crossing  south  of  West  Genesee  street,  is  ]-)robably 
the  oldest  building  now  remaining  in  Syracuse. 

Sale  of  the  Walton  Tract. 
A  portion  of  the  Walton  Tract  was  sold  to 
Michael  Hogan  and  Charles  \\'alton,  who  held  it  in 
common  with  the  original  proprietors  for  some 
time,  and  finally,  after  some  unimportant  changes, 
it  was  transferred  to  Forman,  Wilson  it  Co.,  in 
1 8 14,  for  about  $9,000.  From  these  proprietors 
it  passed  into  the  hands  of  David  Kellogg  and 
William  Sabin,  in  181 8,  who  sold  it,  in  1823,  to 
Henry  Eckford,  the  celebrated  ship-builder  of  New 
York.  In  May,  1824,  the  tract  was  transferred  to 
the  Syracuse  Company  for  the  consideration  of 
$30,000.  The  company  consisted  of  Messrs.  Wil- 
liam James,  Isaiah  and  John  Townsend,  and  James 
McBride.  The  tract  was  deeded  in  trust  to  Messrs. 
Moses  Burnet  and  Gideon  Hawle)',  and  from  that 
time  village  lots  were  extensively  sold. 

First  Pork  Packing  Establishment. 
At  the  lime  Forman,  \N'ilson  &  Co.,  purchased 
the  Walton  Tract,  they  erected  a  large  slaughter 
house  in  a  fine  grove  in  the  rear  of  what  was  after- 
wards General  Granger's  lot,  north  of  Church 
street.  Here  they  packed  beef  and  pork  on  a  large 
scale,  continuing  the  business  till  18 17.  During 
the  war  of  1812-14,  they  had  a  heavy  contract  for 
supplying  the  army  with  these  articles. 

Second  Survey  of  Syracuse. 
In  the  spring  of  1819,  Owen  Forman,  a  younger 
brother  of  Judge  JoshuaForman,  and  John  Wilkin- 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


•37 


son,  Esq.,  father  of  J.  Forman  and  Alfred  Wilkin- 
son, bankers  of  this  city,  then  a  young  lawyer, 
came  down  from  Onondaga  Hollow,  under  the 
direction  of  Judge  Forman,  to  lay  out  the  Walton 
Tract  into  village  lots.  The  old  .survey  of  Mr. 
Walton  was  entirely  disregarded,  except  so  far  as 
the  original  boundary  lines  of  the  tract  were  con- 
cerned. But  so  undefined  were  the  ancient  land- 
marks that  it  was  with  extreme  difficulty  that  they 
ascertained  with  any  degree  of  certainty  the  old 
starting  point.  Although  they  had  an  excellent 
description  of  the  tract,  made  by  Judge  Geddes  at 
the  time  of  the  original  survey,  yet  it  is  thought 
that,  but  for  a  certain  "  plum-tree  "  therein  men- 
tioned, the  lines  as  originally  run  could  not  have 
been  traced.  They  began  their  survey  in  the 
month  of  June,  and  after  a  fortnight  of  hard  labor 
the  village  was  again  laid  out,  so  far  as  related  to 
the  Walton  Tract.  That  portion  not  included  in 
the  village  was  laid  out  into  "  farm  lots  "  of  from 
five  to  ten  acres  each. 

Eakly  Na.mes  of  the  Village. 
In  the  infancy  of  the  Salt  City  it  seemed  difficult 
to  find  a  name  for  it  that  proved  satisfactory.  At 
the  first  laying  out  of  the  village  it  was  called 
"  South  Salitia."  The  tavern  built  by  Mr.  Bogar- 
dus  was  called  the  "South  Salina  Hotel."  The 
name  South  Salina,  however,  not  being  received 
with  general  approval,  was  after  a  time  changed  to 
"  Milan"  which  name  it  bore  till  an  attempt  to  ob- 
tain a  post-office  revealed  that  there  was  one  already 
of  that  name  in  the  State,  and  the  name  was 
changed  to  "  Corinth  "  by  Judge  Forman.  Subse- 
quently for  several  years,  the  place  went  by  the 
name  of  "  Cossit's  Comers,"  from  Sterling  Cossit, 
who  succeeded  Mr.  Ingals  in  the  hotel.  In  1820, 
the  village  was  named  "  Syracuse,"  by  John  Wil- 
kinson, Esq.,  the  first  Postmaster. 

The  Original  Clearing. 

When  the  second  survey  was  made  by  Forman 
and  Wilkinson  in  18 19,  there  was  but  a  small  clear- 
ing in  the  village.  It  extended  from  the  canal  near 
Clinton  street,  south  to  Fayette  street  and  east  to 
Warren  street.  On  the  north  side  of  the  canal  the 
clearing  extended  as  far  back  as  Church  street  and 
east  to  Warren  street,  the  rest  of  the  dry  ground 
being  a  pine  grove  interspersed  with  oak  bushes. 

It  may  not  be  amiss  to  remark  in  this  place,  that 
the  valley  in  which  Syracuse  is  now  situated  was 
originally  covered  with  heavy  timber  and  thick  un- 
derbrush, the  prevailing  kinds  being  hemlock,  birch 
and  soft  maple  in  the  western  part,  and  in  the  east- 
ern portion,  cedar  and  pine. 

i8» 


In  1808,  Mr.  Young  and  others  cut  down  a  large 
hemlock  tree  over  four  ft.  in  diameter,  for  the  purpose 
of  hewing  it  into  timber.  After  cutting  into  the 
tree  a  foot  and  a  half,  they  found  nearly  one  hundred 
bullets  which  had  been  deposited  in  a  box  cut  in  the 
tree,  and  covered  with  one  hundred  and  fifty-two 
concentric  circles,  which  had  grown  over  them  in 
as  many  years  since  the  balls  had  been  placed  there 
by  the  hand  of  some  one  familiar  with  the  use  of 
fire-arms.  Subtracting  152  from  1808.  leaves  1656, 
a  date  at  which  the  French  had  established  colonies 
and  missions  in  this  valley. 

Handsome  Harry — Reminiscence  of  an  Indian 
Feud. 

On  the  west  bank  of  Onondaga  Creek,  in  the 
vicinity  of  the  old  Webster  trading  house,  was  col- 
lected at  an  early  time  quite  a  large  Indian  village. 
Onondagas  gathered  here  for  convenience  of  trade, 
and  were  here  met  by  the  Cayugas.  The  bones 
which  have  been  disinterred  in  this  locality  show 
that  feuds  broke  out  between  portions  of  these 
tribes,  and  that  in  the  conflicts  which  ensued  many 
of  the  Indians  were  slain.  An  incident  connected 
with  one  of  these  feuds  has  been  preserved  by  tra- 
dition, and  is  worthy  of  record. 

"  In  1795,  a  feud  broke  out  between  a  clan  of  the 
Onondagas  and  another  of  the  Cayugas,  which 
raged  fiercely.  At  intervals  several  parties  on  both 
sides  were  killed.  The  last  victim  of  this  deadly 
strife  was  an  Onondaga  called  Handsome  Harry. 
He  had  been  followed  by  a  party  of  Cayugas  from 
Tuscarora  and  back,  and  was  overtaken  at  the  sand 
bank,  afterward  the  property  of  Mr.  Henry  Young, 
situated  not  far  from  the  Syracuse  Pump  House. 
When  he  found  his  pursuers  hard  upon  him,  he 
made  no  effort  to  escape,  but  quietly  kneeling  down, 
bared  his  bosom  and  was  instantly  shot  dead  with 
an  arrow.  Handsome  Harry  was  reputed  the  hand- 
somest man  in  his  nation.  He  was  buried  on  the 
spot  where  he  fell,  and  two  favorite  sisters  for  a 
long  time  daily  visited  his  grave  and  mourned  his 
death  with  the  deepest  sorrow."* 

Syracuse  in  1819. 
When  Judge  Forman  removed  to  Syracuse  in 
1 8 19,  he  occupied  a  house  a  little  west  of  the  Town- 
send  Block.  At  this  time  there  were  only  two 
frame  houses  in  the  village,  beside  the  hotel.  Log 
houses  and  plank  and  slab  cabins  were  scattered 
over  the  dry  portion  of  the  ground,  most  of  the 
latter  having  been  tenanted  by  laborers  on  the 
canal.  The  pasture  of  Judge  Forman  ran  back 
some  fifty  rods  and  east  to  Salina  street,  most  of  it 
being  a  pine  grove.  Another  lot  of  twenty  acres 
commenced  where  the  Syracuse  House  now  stands, 
and  was  accessible  by  a  set  of  bars  opening  into  the 

*  CUrlc'i  Onondaga. 


138 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK 


lot  where  the  front  door  of  the  hotel  now  opens  on 
Salina  street.  This  lot  was  used  as  a  pasture  till 
1820. 

So  dense  was  the  forest  about  Syracuse  in  1819, 
that  two  young  ladies,  the  present  Mis.  E.  VV. 
Leavenworth  and  Mrs.  M.  D.  Hurnet,  in  taking  a 
morning  stroll  over  Prospect  Hill,  became  bewild- 
ered among  the  thick  brushwood  and  lost  their  way. 
They  rambled  about  till  the  day  was  far  spent,  and 
strength  and  courage  almost  exhausted,  with  noth- 
ing before  them  but  the  dreary  prospect  of  being 
obliged  to  pass  the  night  in  the  wilderness.  At 
length,  late  in  the  afternoon,  they  found  themselves 
in  the  vicinity  of  the  Lodi  Locks,  where  they 
recognized  familiar  ground  and  were  able  to  make 
their  way  home  in  safety. 

The  Site  of  Syracijse  Rendered  Health  v. 
We  have  spoken  of  the  unhealthfulness  of  Syra- 
cuse in  the  early  stage  of  its  history.  It  was  so 
very  sickly  during  a  considerable  portion  of  the 
year  that  probably  it  never  could  have  been  per- 
manently settled  had  not  the  foresight  and  sagacity 
of  Judge  Forman  prompted  him  to  lake  measures 
to  secure  the  draining  of  the  swamp  and  marshes. 
An  instance  illustrative  of  the  sickness  of  the  place 
is  related  of  a  Mr.  Merrill  who  built  a  small  frame 
house  in  the  vicinity  of  Mr.  Bogardus'  hotel  about 
the  year  the  latter  building  was  erected,  but 
there  was  so  much  sickness  in  the  neighborhood 
that  he  became  discouraged  and  pulling  down  his 
house  moved  it  away.  During  the  building  of 
the  Erie  Canal,  from  1817  to  1820.  the  prevail- 
ing fever  was  very  fatal.  Dr.  Hasset,  was  the 
physician  and  did  a  vast  amount  of  medical  busi- 
ness among  the  suflerers  on  the  works,  nearly  all  of 
whom  were  sick  with  malarial  diseases  peculiar  to 
the  locality.  The  site  of  the  village  at  that  time 
has  been  described  as  a  "  dreary  waste  of  swamp, 
approached  only  by  means  of  'corduroy'  and 
'  gridiron '  roads.  All  along  where  is  now  lo- 
cated the  beautiful  F'ayette  Park,  was  then  a 
famous  shooting  ground  for  partridges  and  rabbits, 
and  in  the  lower  places  were  plenty  of  mud  turtles 
and  swamp  rattlesnakes.  In  the  spring  the  water 
did  not  usually  subside  sufficiently  to  allow  people 
to  pass  with  any  degree  of  comfort  till  May  or 
June,  and  those  going  from  Onondaga  to  Salina 
were  obliged  to  pass  round  on  the  high  grounds 
east  of  Syracuse,  over  by-roads  which  were  cut  in 
every  direction  through  the  Reservation  for  the 
purpose  of  collecting  wood  in  winter  for  the  salt 
works.  A  person  passing  over  the  present  im- 
proved streets  and  solid  highways  leading  in  and 
out   of  the   flourishing   city   which  has  taken  the 


place  of  the  dreary  swamp  of  those  days,  can  form 
no  just  conception  of  the  impassable  condition  in 
which  the  roads  then  were  in  the  spring  and  fall. 
In  fact  the  only  time  when  they  were  endurable 
was  in  the  winter  when  they  were  perfectly  frozen 
and  covered  with  a  good  body  of  snow."* 

Such  was  the  state  of  things  amidst  which  Judge 
Foiman  and  his  associates  laid  the  foimdations  of 
Syracuse  It  was  no  easy  task  to  build  a  city  in  a 
swamp  such  as  Syracuse  then  was.  Indeed,  it  was 
no  less  a  herculean  undertaking  than  the  building 
of  Chicago  in  a  sunken  mud  prairie  on  the  shore  of 
Lake  Michigan.  Both,  however,  have  been  suc- 
cessfully accomplished,  and  furnish  an  illustration  of 
what  human  energy  and  enterprise  can  accomplish 
in  the  face  of  obstacles  apparently  insurmountable. 

To  the  foreseeing  mind  of  Judge  Forman  it  was 
clear  that  something  must  be  done  to  improve  the 
health  of  the  place,  or  his  plans  would  fail.  Ac- 
cordingly, in  the  winter  of  1821-2,  he  procured  the 
passage  ol  a  law,  in  connection  with  an  act  author- 
izing the  lowering  of  Onondaga  Outlet,  by  which 
the  Commissioners  of  the  Land  Office  were  to  draw 
a  map  of  the  swamp  and  marsh  about  the  villages 
of  Salina  and  Syracuse,  on  which  was  to  be  desig- 
nated the  route  of  several  ditches  and  drains  through 
the  swamp  and  marsh  lands,  with  an  accompanying 
estimate  of  the  sum  necessary  to  be  raised  to  efl'ect 
that  object.  The  Judges  of  the  County  Courts 
were  authorized  to  appoint  three  discreet  free-hold- 
ers of  the  County,  who  should  assess  the  amount 
of  money  necessary  to  be  raised  on  the  owners  of 
the  lands  contiguous  to  the  drains,  in  proportion  as 
they  were  supposed  to  be  benefited  by  the  same. 
In  case  of  the  non-payment  of  any  assessment,  the 
lands  after  being  advertised  four  weeks,  could  be 
sold  for  payment,  and  if  not  redeemed  within  six 
months,  with  ten  percent  interest  and  cost,  the  sale 
was  made  absolute  and  unchangeable.  The  law 
allowed  the  citizens  to  construct  their  own  ditches 
on  their  own  lands,  according  to  rules  prescribed  by 
the  Commissioners  and  the  plan  laid  down  on  the 
map.  In  case  they  would  not,  the  Commissioners 
were  authorized  to  build  them  and  charge  the  own- 
ers with  the  cost  of  construction  and  collection. 

This  law  was  considered  at  the  time  highly 
arbitrary,  but  it  was  the  only  feasible  method 
by  which  the  lands  could  be  drained  and  the  locality 
rendered  healthy.  The  great  advantages  resulting 
from  the  improvement,  soon  reconciled  all  parties  to 
the  means  employed.  This  has  since  been  regarded 
by  thousands  who  have  enjoyed  its  benefits  as  the 
wisest  and  most  beneficent  measure  ever  adopted  in 

*   CUrk'i  Onondiga. 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


139 


connection  with  Syracuse.  The  effect  is  thus  de- 
scribed by  Mr.  Clark  :  "In  the  summer  of  1822, 
the  lands  were  brought  under  subjection  by  drain- 
ing, the  place  assumed  an  air  of  healthfulness, 
disease  and  sickness  kept  at  a  distance,  a  marked 
difference  was  manifest  at  once,  confidence  was 
placed  in  the  future,  and  the  past  was  quickly  for- 
gotten. Since  the  draining  of  these  lands  they 
have  been  as  healthy  as  any  in  the  country." 

Judge  Forman  has  justly  been  esteemed  the 
founder  of  the  village  of  Syracuse.  After  an  ab- 
sence of  five  years,  he  returned  on  a  visit  to  the 
city  in  1831,  and  was  everywhere  received  with  de- 
monstrations of  joy  and  respect.  Every  voice 
cheered  him  as  the  founder  of  a  city  and  the  bene- 
factor of  mankind.  The  citizens  of  Syracuse 
through  their  committee,  consisting  of  Stephen 
Smith,  Harvey  Baldwin,  Amos  P.  Granger,  L.  H. 
Redfield,  Henry  Newton,  John  Wilkinson  and 
Moses  D.  Burnet,  availed  themselves  of  the  oppor- 
tunity to  present  to  him  a  tribute  of  the  high  respect 
and  esteem  entertained  for  his  talents  and  character, 
and  in  consideration  of  his  devotion  to  their  interests 
in  the  early  settlement  of  the  village.  The  plate, 
an  elegant  silver  pitcher,  bore  the  inscription  :  "  A 
Tribute  of  Respect,  Presented  by  the  Citizens  of 
Syracuse  to  the  Honorable  Joshua  Forman, 
Founder  of  that  Village."  On  the  opposite  side 
was  a  device  representing  the  friendship  of  the 
city,  of  two  hands  united  in  fraternal  grasp  ;  above 
this  the  word  "  Syracuse,"  and  below,  the  date 
"1831." 

Early  Merchants. 

Sidney  Dole  and  Milan  C.  Taylor,  the  owners  and 
occupants  of  the  mill,  in  18 14,  opened  the  first  store 
of  general  merchandise.  Their  store  was  next 
west  of  that  afterwards  kept  by  William  Malcolm. 
The  firm  of  Northrup  &  Dexter,  who  had  a  con- 
tract on  the  Erie  Canal  in  1817,  were  the  success- 
ors of  Messrs.  Dole  &  Taylor,  and  continued  in 
business  till  1821.  In  that  year  General  Amos  P. 
Granger  came  down  from  Onondaga  Hill  and 
established  himself  as  a  dry  goods  merchant  on  the 
site  of  the  present  Syracuse  Savings  Bank  Build- 
ing. At  this  time  there  was  no  other  store  in  Syra- 
cuse, except  two  or  three  small  groceries.  From 
this  time  for  two  or  three  years  merchants  multi- 
plied rapidly.  Mr.  Henry  Newton  opened  a  store 
in  1822  ;  Archy  Kasson,  hardware,  1822  ;  Kasson 
&  Hermans,  dry  goods,  groceries  and  hardware, 
1823  ;  G.  M.  Towle,  commission  and  forwarding, 
April,  1823;  George  Davis  &  Co.,  general  mer- 
chandise, July,  1823  ;  Henry  W.  Durnford,  gro- 
ceries, drugs  and  medicines,  1823  ;  John  Rogers  & 


Co.,  (from  New  York,)  November,  1823  ;  William 
Malcolm,  1823;  Haskell  &  Walbridge,  saddlers  and 
furnishers  for  the  trade,  1824;  J.  Vanderheyden, 
Mead  &  Davis,  A.  N.  VanPatten,  and  H.  &  W. 
Dowd,  1824 ;  Hiram  Judson,  watchmaker  and 
jeweler,  1824;  H.  Hyde  &  Co.,  forwarding  mer- 
chants, 1824.  These  are  the  principal  pioneer 
merchants  who  established  business  in  the  village 
of  Syracuse  prior  to  the  completion  of  the  Erie 
Canal.  Since  this  important  era  merchants  have 
become  so  numerous  that  it  would  be  impossible  to 
follow  them  in  detail. 

The  Empire  Block. 
The  hotel  built  by  Bogardus  was  for  many  years 
called  the  "Mansion  House."  In  1845,  the  old 
patched  up  establishment,  with  its  outbuildings, 
was  torn  away  to  make  room  for  the  present  Empire 
Block.  This  block  was  finished  in  1847,  by  John 
H.  Tomlinson  and  Stephen  W.  Caldwell,  of  Syra- 
cuse and  John  Thomas,  of  Albany.  On  its  comple- 
tion Mr,  Tomlinson  became  sole  owner.  Mr.  Tom- 
linson was  killed  by  a  railroad  accident  at  Little 
Falls  in  1848.  The  block  was  then  sold  at  auction, 
and  after  several  changes  became  the  property  of 
Colonel  James  L.  Voorhees,  in  1850. 

The  Syracuse  House. 

The  lot  on  which  the  Syracuse  House  stands  was 
purchased  by  Messrs.  Buell  &  Safford,  who  began 
the  erection  of  the  "Syracuse  Hotel"  about  1820. 
While  the  building  was  in  progress  Mr.  Safford  was 
killed  by  a  fall  from  a  scaffold.  The  property  then 
passed  into  the  hands  of  Mr.  Eckford,  who  com- 
pleted the  hotel  in  1822.  It  was  three  stories  high, 
and  the  first  brick  building  of  any  considerable 
dimensions  erected  in  the  village.  For  several  years 
it  was  kept  by  Mr.  James  Mann.  After  the  Syra- 
cuse Company  came  into  possession  of  the  premises, 
the  house  was  rebuilt,  and  has  since  been  enlarged 
and  improved  to  its  present  ample  dimensions  and 
style.  At  the  time  of  the  rebuilding  it  was  named  the 
"  Syracuse  House"  after  which  it  was  kept  by  Mr. 
George  Rust,  then  by  Daniel  Comstock  and  H.  T. 
Gibson,  then  for  a  long  time  by  P.  N.  Rust,  Esq., 
who  was  succeeded  by  Gilbert  &  Knickerbocker  in 
1848. 

Townsend  Block  was  erected  in  1842;  Market 
(now  City)  Hall  in  1845  ;  Granger  Block  in  1844, 
burned  in  1849,  rebuilt  in  1866;  Globe  Building  in 
i846-'47  ;  Malcolm  Block,  in  1847  ;  Bastable  Block 
in   1849,  rebuilt  '"   1 863-' 64;  Corinthian  Block  in 

1853- 
Wieting  Block  and  Hall  were  erected  and  finished 

in  i849-'50.     On  the  5th  of  January,  1856,  one  of 


I40 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


the  coldest  days  during  the  winter,  this  block  was 
burned  to  the  ground.  Dr.  VVicting  at  once  took 
measures  for  its  rcerection,  and  soon  completed  a 
larger  and  more  elegant  block.  The  new  hall  was 
dedicated  on  the  9th  of  December,  1856.  eleven 
months  after  the  destruction  of  the  former  build- 
ing. 

First  Postoffice 

The  first  Postoffice  in  the  village  was  established 
in  February,  1820;  John  Wilkinson,  Esq,  Post- 
master. It  is  said  that  Mr.  Wilkinson  used  to  carry 
the  mail  in  his  hat  and  deliver  it  to  parties  whom  he 
met  about  the  village.  For  some  time  the  office 
was  kept  in  General  Granger's  store,  when,  for 
greater  convenience,  it  was  deemed  advisable  to 
move  it  to  John  Durnford's  printing  office.  Mr. 
Durnford  at  first  objected  on  account  of  lack  of  room, 
but  when  he  found  that  Mr.  Wilkinson  had  brought 
the  whole  contents  of  the  office,  mail  matter,  bo.xes, 
letter  bo.\es,  &c.,  on  his  shoulder,  without  the  ne- 
cessity of  returning  for  another  load,  he  waived  his 
objection,  and  the  postoffice  was  fairly  installed  in 
the  office  of  the  first  newspaper  in  Syracuse. 

Sale  of  State  Lands. 

In  1822  a  considerable  portion  of  the  Onondaga 
Salt  Springs  Reservation  was  sold  under  the  direc- 
tion of  the  Surveyor-General.  It  was  parceled  out 
into  small  lots  and  sold  to  individuals.  Several  of 
these  lots  were  taken  by  Messrs.  Kellogg  &  Sabin, 
and  eventually  passed  into  the  hands  of  the  Syra- 
cuse Company.  A  large  portion  of  the  present 
site  of  the  city,  now  covered  with  costly  buildings, 
was  included  in  these  sales,  the  land  being  pur- 
chased for  mere  nominal  prices.  Such  were  the 
lots  on  James  street  on  which  now  stand  stately 
mansions — probably  the  finest  residence  avenue  in 
the  city — together  with  a  large  tract  including  the 
old  cemetery.  These  brought  at  the  sale  from 
eighteen  to  thirty  dollars  an  acre.  The  lands  east 
of  Fayette  Park  sold  for  si.x  dollars  an  acre. 

General  Granger  took  several  lots  in  the  swamp 
near  Lodi,  between  the  canal  and  turnpike,  at  ten 
dollars  and  fifty  cents  an  acre.  Citizens  agreed  not 
to  bid  against  him  on  condition  that  he  would  clear 
the  land  immediately.  This  was  done  at  great 
expense  the  same  season  and  put  into  a  crop  of 
wheat.  Most  of  this  ground  is  now  covered  with 
fine  buildings. 

In  1828  there  was  another  sale  of  State  lands, 
embracing  the  lots  in  the  vicinity  of  the  old  Court 
House,  and  on  other  portions  of  the  Reservation. 

First  Packet-Boat  at  Svracuse. 
The  first  packet-boat  on  the  canal  was  named 


the  "  Montezuma."  It  arrived  at  Syracuse  on  the 
2 1  St  of  April,  1820.  This  boat  was  built  and  fitted 
up  by  a  company  of  gentlemen  at  Montezuma  from 
a  model  furnished  by  Col.  Comfort  Tyler.  It  was 
seventy-si.\  feet  long  and  fourteen  feet  wide.  Its 
arrival  created  great  excitement.  Hundreds  of 
anxious  spectators  lined  the  banks  of  the  canal  to 
witness  the  wonder,  and  this  practical  illustration 
of  the  benefits  of  the  canal  was  not  without  its  in- 
fluence. It  hushed  the  hostility  of  opponents  of 
the  enterprise  and  strengthened  the  more  timid  ; 
visionary  theories  yielded  to  simple  fact,  and  wild 
speculation  to  tests  of  experiment.  The  canal  was 
now  navigable  from  Montezuma  to  Utica,  ninety- 
four  miles,  and  at  once  business  received  a  new  and 
vigorous  impulse. 

Independenxe  Day— 1820. 

"  The  4th  of  July,  1820,*  was  a  glorious  day  for 
Syracuse.  The  canal  was  in  practical  operation, 
the  prospects  of  the  future  city  began  to  brighten  ; 
a  most  brilliant  day  dawned  upon  a  land  heretofore 
a  swamp  and  bog.  It  was  hailed  as  a  day  of  joy, 
festivity  and  rejoicing.  Invitations  had  been  e.v- 
tendcd  to  the  friends  of  the  canal  throughout 
the  State,  particularly  in  the  Western  District. 
Thousands  of  guests  from  the  surrounding  counties 
came  to  witness  the  novelty  of  canal  navigation, 
and  to  celebrate  the  day.  Some  of  the  most  dis- 
tinguished men  in  the  State  were  present,  among 
whom  were  Governor  Clinton  and  suite.  General 
VanCortland,  Myron  Holley,  Thomas  J.  Oakley 
and  John  C.  Spencer.  Judge  VanNess  adjourned 
the  Circuit  Court  then  in  session  at  the  Court 
House,  and  the  Court  and  Bar  attended  in  a  body. 
Thaddeus  M  Wood,  Esq.,  presided  on  the  occasion. 
The  declaration  was  read  by  N.  P.  Randall,  Esq., 
and  the  oration  delivered  by  Samuel  Miles  Hopkins, 
Esq.,  to  more  than  two  thousand  people.  The 
numerous  procession  was  formed  in  front  of  Mr. 
Cossit's  tavern,  escorted  by  the  Salina  band.  They 
proceeded  to  the  pine  grove  directly  in  the  rear  of 
the  Townsend  Block.  The  platform  upon  which 
were  seated  the  orator,  the  reader  and  distinguished 
guests,  was  under  a  large  spreading  pine,  which  has 
long  ago  bowed  its  towering  head  to  make  way  for 
the  rapid  and  substantial  improvements  which  have 
since  been  made.  This  was  the  first  celebration  of 
our  national  independence  at  Syracuse,  and  those 
who  w«re  present  number  it  among  her  proudest 

days." 

James  Street  in  1824. 

In  1824  James  street  was  only  an   Indian  trail 

*x  Clirk't  Onondaga,  p.  98. 


Gen.  Amos  P.  G-ranqer  was  born  in  Siiffield,  Hartford  Co., 
Conn.,  1789.  He  removed  to  Manlius,  Onondaga  County,  in  1811, 
and  entered  upon  mercantile  pursuits  at  that  place.  About  1820 
he  removed  to  the  village  of  Sj'racuse,  and  became  one  of  the 
first  residents,  and  one  of  the  most  active  promoters  of  the  busi- 
ness interests  of  the  place.  For  a  number  of  years  subsequent  to 
his  removal  to  Syracuse  he  was  a  merchant,  his  store  standing  on 
the  ground  occupied  by  the  Syracuse  Savings  Bank.  He  early 
invested  largely  in  real  estate,  the  rise  in  the  value  of  which  made 
him  one  of  its  wealthiest  citizens. 

The  first  election  of  officers  of  the  village  of  Syracuse  occurred 
on  March  3,  1825,  and  Joshua  Forman  was  chosen  president, 
with  Amos  P.  Granger,  Moses  D.  Burnet,  Herman  Waldridge, 
and  John  Rogers  as  trustees.  In  the  "War  of  1812,  General 
Granger  raised  a  company  of  militia,  and  proceeded  to  Sacket's 
Harbor.  He  continued  in  the  militia  service  after  the  war,  rising 
through  successive  gradations  to  the  rank  of  general,  which  was 
his  distinguishing  title  through  life.  He  was  often  honored  with 
positions  of  trust  by  the  citizens  of  Syracuse.  One  very  marked  in- 
stance of  this  was  his  selection  to  deliver  the  reception  address  on  the 
memorable  occasion  of  Gen.  Lafayette's  visit  to  Syracuse,  in  1825. 

General  Granger  was  always  an  active,  energetic,  and  enthusi- 
astic politician.  He  was  a  member  of  the  Whig  party,  and  was 
among  the  very  first  in  the  country  to  protest  against  the  aggressions 
of  the  slave  power,  and  to  divine  that  a  new  organization  of  ex- 
isting parties  must  take  place  before  they  could  be  successfully 
resisted. 

Elected  a  delegate  from  Onondaga  County  to  the  anti-Nebraska 
convention  held  at  Auburn,  in  October,  1853,  of  his  own  volition 
he  offered  the  following  resolution  : 

Resolved,  That  the  Baltimore  platforms  adopted  by  the  Democratic  and  Whig 
national  conventions,  without  authority,  and  in  direct  violation  of  the  sentiments  of 
a  vast  majority  of  th's  State,  we,  Whigs  and  Democrats,  hereby  repudiate  for  the 
past,  the  present,  anil  the  future. 

This  and  three  other  resolutions  offered  by  General  Granger 
were  unanimously  adopted  by  the  convention,  and  formed  the 
basis  on  which  was  ;iftcrwards  erected  the  Republican  party  of  this 
State,  if  not  of  the  nation  To  General  Granger,  as  much  as  to 
any  other  one  man,  the  Republican  organization  owes  its  existence. 


Shortly  after  his  return  from  Auburn  he  was  elected  by  the 
liberal  Whigs  of  this  district  to  the  Thirty-fourth  Congress.  He 
was  an  active  and  useful  member.  His  voice  and  vote  was  always 
on  the  right  side.     He  was  an  effective  speaker. 

If  lack  of  earlj'  education  had  deprived  his  phrases  of  scholastic 
finish,  it  could  not  divest  them  of  a  sharp  incisive  power,  which  is 
oftentimes  more  effective  than  polished  oratory.  One  incident 
characteristic  of  his  courage  and  self-reliance  to  meet  opposition 
in  other  ways  than  by  reason  and  force  of  words  is  related.  A 
Virginia  bully,  a  congressman,  attacked  him  in  a  public  convey- 
ance in  Washington.  The  attack  was  made  by  a  young  and 
vigorous  man  upon  one  much  advanced  in  years  ;  but  his  years  did 
not  diminish  the  ardor  of  the  general,  who,  strong  in  his  principles 
of  freedom,  offered  to  "waive  his  age,"  and  try  physical  results 
with  a  scion  of  Virginia  chivalry. 

Since  1858,  General  Granger  occupied  no  official  position,  but 
was  strong  in  his  advocacy  of  true  political  ideas.  Through  the 
war  he  was  an  enthusiastic  and  outspoken  advocate  of  the  Union 
cause.  During  the  campaign  of  1864,  though  suffering  from 
paralysis,  he  attended  the  Union  meetings,  that  he  might  show 
by  his  presence  the  feelings  of  his  heart.  General  Granger  was 
for  half  a  century  a  consistent  member  of  the  Protestant  Episcopal 
church.  There  was  no  layman  so  well  read  as  he  in  the  history 
of  that  church.  Upon  coming  to  Syracuse  he  was,  in  1826,  one  of 
the  first  to  organize  a  parish  there,  and  attempt  the  erection  of  a 
small  wooden  church,  he  being  at  the  time  of  its  completion,  as 
he  often  related,  "  the  only  solvent  man  in  the  congregation,  and 
himself  with  only  a  dollar  or  two  in  advance."  General  Granger 
was  among  the  first  vestrymen,  and  was  warden  of  the  same  for 
over  thirty-five  j'ears. 

In  the  year  1813  he  married  Miss  Charlotte,  daughter  of  Benja- 
min Hickcox  and  IluUlah  Holmes,  of  East  Haddam,  Conn.  She  was 
born  in  Hampshire  Co.,  Mass.,  in  the  year  1790,  and  has  survived 
her  husband  some  eleven  years,  being  now  in  her  eighty-eighth 
year,  possessing  at  that  age  an  active  mind  and  great  energy  of 
body.  She  united  with  the  Episcopal  church  as  early  as  1825, 
and  has  been  a  consistent  member  of  the  same  for  some  fifty-three 
years. 

General  Granger  died  Aug.  20,  1806. 


-/*' 


Plintu.  1*3    llonlii  .V  CiirUM,  8>niflMC. 


The  subject  uf  ihi.s  sketch  was  born  in  ibo  town  ot"  Sliafts- 
bury,  Vt.,  June  1,  ITSl.  He  wil-*  seeoml  wm,  in  a  Cainily  ot" 
five  sons  and  three  daughters,  of  I'arley  llowlett  and  Barsiieba 
Parker,  the  former  a  native  of  Vermont,  and  the  latter  a  native 
of  Connecticut. 

The  family  of  Howlett  is  descended  from  Parley  llowlett, 
one  of  three  brothers  (the  other  two  naim-d  William  and  John) 
who  emi;rniled  from  Kngland  in  the  shi|«  "  Mayflower,"  and 
landiMl  at  Plymouth  Kock,  16J0. 

His  fatlier  eaini'  to  ( )iioiidafri  County  with  his  family,  and 
wttleil  in  the  town  of  ()nondaj;a,  in  the  year  ITU",  on  one  of 
the  hills  of  that  town  now  bearing  his  name,  jiurclixsed  land, 
and  was  one  of  the  pioru'en*  of  this  county,  and  died  in  ISO!^. 

Parley  spent  his  minority  clearing;  lan<l  anil  farming,  receiviiif; 
a  Very  limited  education  from  books  ;  but  in  early  life  he  be- 
came so  inured  to  self-reliance  and  habits  of  industry  as  to  nuike 
his  subseijucnt  years  a  worthy  record  in  the  history  of  Onon- 
diifra  County. 

At  tlic  a<n'  of  twenty-three  yesirs  he  purchased  one  hundred 
acrcH  of  land,  and  be-ran  clearinf;  the  same.  To  this  purehiise, 
in  IH14,  he  addeil  some  two  hundreil  aeri'S  more,  very  nearly  the 
whole  id"  which  he  cau.sed  to  be  cleared,  and.  after  the  .salt  in- 
terest iH'fian,  he  cau.sed  the  tindMT  to  be  cut  into  wood,  hauled 
the  wihhI  to  (ieddes,  and  used  it  in  the  manufacture  of  .H:dt.  He 
early  en;;a;;ed  in  the  s<dt  business  :  first  nsin;;  eiirhl  kiltlebloeks, 
al\cTwards  usinjr  si.xtecn,  and  Hubs4M|uently  ihirty-two  kettlc- 
bloeks.  He  was  the  first  man  who  shipjied  .salt  west,  boat  in;; 
it  down  the  ()swc;:o  river,  thetice  by  the  lake,  drawin;;  it  with 
teams  around  the  falls;  found  a  market  first  at  Silver  Creek, 
utlerwards  Kric,  Pa.,  and  Ashtabuli,  ( )hio,  and  sub.scijuently  at 
Cleveland  ;  exehanjiin;;  his  sjdt  for  horses  and  cattle,  he  drove 
them  liack  to  this  county.  After  two  years  he  killed  his  cattle  and 
packed  the  meat  for  the  eastern  market.  After  the  canal  wius 
finished  he  packed  his  meat  in  Synicu.se,  his  packint;-lious<'  bein;; 
located  ojiposite  the  present  way-locks  in  tlie  city.  He  .shipped 
the  first  beel'  and  pork  in  barrels,  by  the  Krie  canal,  that  was 
sent  cast  from  ()ni>iida<;a  County. 


The  history  of  Mr.  Howlett's  operations  wirst  '^oes  back  so 
far  in  the  early  .setlliinint  of  the  country  lie  passed  throiiLdi  with 
his  stock  in  returning;  home,  that  he  related  p:Lssin;_'  throuiih 
twenty-five  miles  of  woodland,  by  marked  trees,  from  one  clearing; 
to  another.  His  whole  life  was  spent  in  active  business  until 
within  a  few  years  of  his  death.  He  lived  and  died  on  the  farm 
he  had  purcha.sed  in  18(17.  He  was  liberal  in  his  views  of  edu- 
cational interests,  and  ;,'ave  larj^ely  for  the  snjiiKirt  of  the  .•Miiiic. 

In  jKililies  he  was  identified  with  the  Anti-Ma.sonie  party, 
with  the  Wliij:  party,  and  U|>oii  the  formation  of  the  Hepnbliean 
party  became  a  warm  sup]nirter  of  its  principles;  and  .so  oppo.sed 
was  he  to  the  principles  of  slavery  that,  Ufion  the  breaking;  out 
of  the  Hebellioii  in  18(1(1,  that  fjuestion  st-cmed  to  occupy  his 
whole  attention,  and  he  desired  that  the  war  should  never  be 
ended  nnlil  that  institution  was  abolished,  but  he  only  lived 
until  May  1>>,  IStJl,  just  at  the  bepnnin;:  of  the  war. 

In  the  year  18(15,  July  21,  he  married  Miss  Phebe  Robbins, 
a  native  of  Connecticut,  but  of  this  c<mnty  at  the  time  of  the 
inarriajre.  To  them  were  born  eleven  children  :  Solomon  K., 
llonilio  (;.,  Myron  P.,  Latitia  E.,  Jane  M..  Parley  L.,  Alfred 
A.,  Celestia  S.,  Daniel.  Francis  C  ,  and  Jerome  Howlett,  six  of 
whom  are  now  livinj;  ;  and  Alfred  A.  desires  by  this  sketch  and 
portrait  above  to  jilaee  upon  the  pa^es  of  history  a  few  facts  re- 
latin;;  to  one  of  ()iionda;.;a's  pioneer  active  business  men. 

Parley  Howlett  was  no  ordinary  person.  He  was  a  man  of  i|uiek 
apprehension  and  siroii;;  convictions,  frank  and  fearless  in  their 
e.\pre,ssioii.  and  energetic  in  carryin;;  them  out.  He  possi-ssed 
stroll;;  common  .sense  in  ;;reat  abundance,  uncommon  .sapicily  in 
businctts.  Was  .s«n;:uini'  in  his  temjieranieiil.  and  lio|K'ful ;  ready 
to  nie«'t  and  siroii;;  to  overcome  the  difficulties  in  the  way  of 
Hclf-iiiade  men.  and  admirably  fitted  by  the  pos-s^-ssion  of  lliesi' 
i|Unlities  to  fi;;lit  the  battles  of  a  pioneer  life.  He  was  a  ;;ooil 
nei;;lilMir  and  a  warm  friend.  He  commanded  the  rexpect  of  his 
fellow-eiti/.ens,  and  was  thre<>  times  a  candidate  of  the  old  Wlii;; 
party  for  the  office  of  hi;;li  sheriff  of  the  county  ;  he  failed  not 
iiir  the  want  of  |>ersonal  popularity,  but  only  beeau.se  the  Dem- 
ocnitie  party  in  those  early  ilays  was  larp'ly  in  the  a.sceiideney. 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


141 


leading  over  the  hills  to  what  was  then  Foote  Settle- 
ment, now  the  first  gate  on  the  plank  road.  The 
eye  of  the  lonely  wayfarer  on  that  trail  was  not 
gladdened  by  the  sight  of  the  lordly  and  palatial 
residences  which  now  give  so  grand  and  aristocratic 
an  appearance  to  this  fine  avenue.  The  only  object 
on  this  trail  was  the  dwelling  house  of  Major 
Burnet  erected  that  year  by  Rodney  Sargents,  of 
Auburn  ;  this  house  stood  on  a  slight  eminence 
occupied  by  the  late  residence  of  Major  Burnet.  It 
fronted  towards  the  south  and  had  a  sort  of  tem- 
porary road  leading  directly  to  the  tow-path  on 
the  Erie  Canal.  The  house  then  stood  far  out  of 
town  and  the  only  avenue  of  approach  for  teams 
was  by  the  tow-path  and  the  private  road.  Persons 
on  foot  could  reach  it  by  taking  the  trail  and  beat- 
h  the  underbrush. 


ing  across  throu 


Progress  of  the  Village. 

The  village  of  Syracuse  was  a  mere  hamlet  of  a 
few  hundred  inhabitants  till  the  completion  of  the 
Erie  canal.  This  work  was  a  new  era  in  the  pro- 
gress of  the  village,  from  which  its  rapid  growth 
may  be  dated.  The  village  was  incorporated  by 
act  of  the  Legislature  April  13,  1825,  the  same  year 
of  the  completion  of  the  canal,  with  the  usual 
powers  granted  to  like  incorporations.  The  charter 
was  amended  in  1829,  and  again  in  1834,  increas- 
ing the  power  of  village  officers,  regulating  water 
works,  fire  department,  &c.  In  1835,  the  bounds 
of  the  original  village  were  considerably  enlarged. 
In  1839  3nd  in  1841,  there  were  further  amend- 
ments of  the  charter,  so  as  to  enable  the  trustees  to 
hold  real  estate  for  the  purposes  of  a  village  ceme- 
tery, which  was  subsequently  laid  out  and  beauti- 
fied. The  charter  was  also  further  amended  in 
1842  and  in  1845,  ^°^  ^^he  improvement  of  water 
works,  to  empower  the  trustees  to  borrow  money  on 
the  credit  of  the  corporation,  to  purchase  a  lot  for 
a  market  and  other  public  buildings,  and  for  other 
purposes. 

Municipal  Officers — Village  Government. 

At  the  first  election  for  village  officers  under  the 
charter,  held  at  the  school  house  in  Syracuse  May 
3,  1825,  Joshua  Forman,  Amos  P.  Granger,  Moses 
D.  Burnet,  Heman  Walbridge,  and  John  Rogers, 
were  elected  Trustees  ;  Joshua  Forman  was  chosen 
President ;  James  Webb,  Alfred  Northam,  and 
Thomas  Spencer,  Assessors ;  John  Wilkinson, 
Clerk  ;  John  Durnford,  Treasurer  ;  Daniel  Gilbert, 
Justice  of  the  Peace,  presiding. 

The  Trustees  proceeded  at  once  to  lay  out  road 
districts,  to  organize  a  fire  department,  to  purchase 
engines  and  apparatus,  and  other  things   for  the 


welfare  of  the  village.  Our  space  will  not  allow  us 
to  follow  the  list  of  officers  further.  They  will  be 
found  in  the  records  of  the  village  and  city. 

Early  Lawyers. 

John  Wilkinson,  Esq.,  was  the  first  lawyer  in  Sy- 
racuse. He  came  to  the  place  in  1819,  and  a  few 
years  after  built  an  office  on  the  corner  now  occu- 
pied by  the  Globe  Hotel.  The  office  was  twelve 
by  fourteen  feet,  and  Mr.  Wilkinson  was  heartily 
ridiculed  for  putting  his  office  out  in  the  field,  as  it 
was  then,  although  the  location  is  now  in  the  heart 
of  the  city. 

Mr.  Wilkinson  was  long  identified  with  the  growth 
and  progress  of  the  village,  holding  many  offices 
with  honor  and  distinction.  When  railroads  were 
first  put  in  successful  operation,  he  closely  investi- 
gated their  workings  and  principles  and  entered 
largely  into  railroad  affairs.  He  was  for  several 
years  President  of  the  Syracuse  and  Utica  Railroad, 
and  by  his  influence  succeeded  in  having  the  work- 
shops of  that  road  located  at  Syracuse.  He  was 
afterwards  President  of  the  Michigan  Southern 
Railroad,  and  under  his  skillful  management  that 
road  became  one  of  the  best  in  the  Union.  In  1824 
he  built  a  residence  a  little  south  of  his  office  where 
he  resided  till  he  built  his  fine  residence  on  James 
street. 

The  next  attorney  after  Mr.  Wilkinson,  vyas  Al- 
fred Northam,  Esq.,  in  1824.  Then  came  Harvey 
Baldwin  and  Schuyler  Strong,  Esqs.,  in  1826,  and 
were  soon  followed  by  Messrs.  Wheaton  and  Davis, 
Hon.  E.  W.  Leavenworth,  Hon.  B.  Davis  Noxon, 
Hon.  James  R.  Lawrence,  and  others  who  came 
with  the  removal  of  the  Court  House  from  Onon- 
daga Hill  Hon.  George  F.  Comstock  was  a  law 
student  herewith  Messrs.  Noxon  and  Leavenworth 
and  began  his  legal  practice  among  the  early  mem- 
bers of  the  Syracuse  Bar.  Hon.  E.  W.  Leaven- 
worth came  in  1827.  Hon,  Joshua  Forman  was 
also  a  lawyer,  contemporary  with  Mr.  Wilkinson, 
but  his  office  at  that  early  period  was  with  his 
partner,  Mr.  Sabin,  at  Onondaga  Hollow.  He  was 
made  Judge  of  the  Court  of  Common  Pleas  in 
18 1 3.*  Other  early  lawyers  of  Syracuse  and  the 
County  were  Grove  Lawrence,  John  H.  Hulburt, 
Daniel  Gott,  D.  D.  Hillis,  George  H.  Middleton, 
Henry  J.  Sedgwick,  William  J.  Hough,  John  Ruger, 
John  G.  Forbes,  and  J.  W.  Nye. 

Of  the  above  list  all  are  deceased  except  Hon.  E. 
W.  Leavenworth  and  Judge   George  F.  Comstock. 

The  following  have  also  been  members  of  this 
Bar,  and  have  died  within  the  past  24  years  :    Fin- 

*  See  Biography  of  Judge  Forman. 


142 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


lay  M.  King,  Thomas  T.  Davis,  Z.  C.  Foot,  N.  B. 
Smith,  James  Barrett,  H.  S.  Fuller,  William  J. 
Dodge,  Col.  A.  W.  Dwight,  Barnard  Slocum,  Rich- 
ard Raynor,  Col.  C.  M.  Randall,  Frank  Wooster, 
S.  L.  Edwards,  Jr.,D.  J.  Mitchell,  John  A.  Clark, 
Henry  Horton,  Cyrus  R.  James,  D.  Redfield,  John 
J.  Miles,  John  Malloy,  Charles  C.  Bates,  V.  M. 
Gardner,  A.  Coats,  P.  Outwater,  Jr.,  Q.  A.  John- 
son, E.  A.  Brown,  John  Huning,  G.  D.  Z.  Griswold, 
E.  A.  Clapp,  John  H.  Brand,  H.  H.  Hitchcock, 
John  Callamer,  John  L  Ncwcomb,  Thomas  A. 
Smith,  J.  R.  Lawrence,  Jr.,  J.  W.  Loomis,  Fred  H. 
Gray,  A.  C.  Griswold,  D.  G.  Montgomery,  Leonard 
H.  Lewis,  S.  Rexford,  J.  J.  Briggs,  O.  J.  Rugcr, 
C.  M.  Brosnan,  E.  Butler,  R.  S.  Corning,  A.  J. 
Henderson,  Z.  L.  Beebe,  J.  F.  Sabine,  George 
Murphy,  Robert  F.  Trowbridge,  Andrew  J.  Lynch, 
H.  E.  Northrup,  Clinton  M.  Smith,  Nelson  M. 
Baker,  L.  Harris  Hiscock. 

The  following  attorneys  have  been  in  practice  in 
Syracuse  24  or  more  years  :  R.  H.  Gardner,  James 
S.  Leach,  Le  Roy  Morgan,  Daniel  Pratt,  Hamilton 
Burdick,  C.  B.  Sedgwick,  Thomas  G.  Alvord,  Israel 
S.  Spencer,  E.  W.  Leavenworth,  B.  Davis  No.xon, 
George  F.  Comstock,  Daniel  F.  Gott,  William  C. 
Rugcr,  M.  C.  Mcrrinian,  G.  W.  Gray,  J.  L.  Bagg, 
H.  C.  Leavenworth,  H.  Ricgel,  N.  F.  Graves,  S.  N. 
Holmes,  D.  Coats. 

The  Powder  E.xplosion. 

On  the  evening  of  Friday,  August  20,  1841,  oc- 
curred an  event  ever  memorable  to  the  people  of 
Syracuse— the  Powder  Explosion,  which  killed  26 
citizens,  and  wounded  10  dangerously,  and  43  others 
severely.  It  was  caused  by  a  fire  originating  in  a 
joiner's  shop  on  the  tow-path  side  of  the  Oswego 
Canal,  where  twenty-five  kegs  of  powder  had  been 
stored,  and  which  exploded  with  terrific  eflfect  and 
with  the  sad  consequences  described.  A  gloom 
was  cast  over  the  whole  village,  and  sadness  filled 
every  house  and  heart,  at  the  terrible  calamity. 

"The  efiect  of  the  explosion  was  felt  for  more 
than  twenty  miles  around.  A  man  upon  the  deck  of 
a  packet  boat  at  Fulton,  26  miles  distant,  heard  the 
report.  At  DcWitt  and  Jamesville;  five  miles  ofl", 
persons  were  startled  from  their  sleep,  supposing 
their  chimneys  had  fallen  down.  At  Manlius,  ten 
miles  distant,  the  earth  trembled,  and  crockery  upon 
a  merchants  shelves  rattled  for  the  space  of  several 
seconds,  like  the  ellect  of  a  clap  of  thunder.  At 
Camillus,  it  was  compared  to  the  crash  o(  falling 
timber.  At  Onondaga,  it  was  supposed  to  be  an 
earthquake.  Although  the  concussion  was  tremen- 
dous at  Syracuse,  the  report  was  not  so  loud  as 
might  have  been  supposed.  Glass  in  the  windows 
a  hundred  rods  distant  was  broken.  Papers  in  the 
County  Clerk's  office  were  thrown  from  their  places 


upon  the  floor,  and  several  buildings  were  more  or 
less  injured. 

"The  instant  the  e.xplosion  took  place,  the  air 
was  filled  with  fragments  of  the  building,  bits  of 
lumber,  &c.,  which  lighted  up  the  heavens  with  the 
brightness  of  day  ;  but  in  a  twinkling  it  was  total 
darkness  ;  the  explosion  had  extinguished  every 
particle  of  fire.  The  scene  at  the  moment  was 
horrible  beyond  description  :  men,  women  and  chil- 
dren screaming  in  horror  ;  none  knew  the  extent  of 
the  calamity,  and  all  were  anxious  to  learn  the  fate 
of  their  friends.  Quickly  some  three  thousand 
persons  were  gathered,  anxiously  looking  for  those 
whom  they  most  regarded.  Very  soon  lamps  were 
brought ;  the  wounded  were  carried  oft",  filling  the 
air  with  sighs  and  groans ;  the  dead  were  sought 
and  found,  many  of  them  so  disfigured  that  they 
could  be  recognized  only  by  their  clothes  or  the 
contents  of  their  pockets.  For  a  long  time  small 
groups  of  persons  could  be  seen  with  lights  in  all 
directions,  carrying  either  the  dead  or  the  wounded 
to  their  homes.  The  next  day  the  village  was 
shrouded  in  mourning  ;  the  stores  were  all  closed 
and  business  suspended.  On  Sunday  the  unfor- 
tunate victims  were  consigned  to  the  tomb  amidst 
the  sympathies  and  tears  of  an  afflicted  com- 
j     munity." 

Incorporation  of  Syracuse  as  a  City. 

The  rapid  growth  of  the  village  in  population  and 

I  importance  induced  the  discussion  of  its  incorpora- 
tion as  a  city  in  1846.     Meetings  were  held  during 

I  that  and  part  of  the  following  year  without  arriving 
at  any  definite  conclusion,  till  the  winter  of  1847, 
when  the  question  was  brought  before  the  Legisla- 
ture. Considerable  difference  of  opinion  existed 
among  the  inhabitants  as  to  the  extent  of  territory 
the  city  should  include.  Some  were  for  having  it 
embrace  the  entire  Salt  Springs  Reservation  ;  others 
only  the  village  of  Syracuse.  At  several  spirited 
meetings  the  subject  was  warmly  discussed,  and  re- 

I  suited  in  the  plan  of  uniting  the  villages  of  Syra- 
cuse and  Salina,  under  one  city  charter  with  the 
name  of  the  latter.     The  act  of  incorporation  was 

I  passed  December  14,  1S47,  (Chap.  475,  Session 
Laws,)  and  defined  the  limits  of  the  city  as  fol- 
lows : 

"  The  district  of  country  constituting  a  part  of 
the  town  of  Salina,  and  including  the  villages  of 
Syracuse  and  Salina,  in  the  county  of  Onondaga, 
within  the  following  bounds,  that  is  to  say  : 

"  Beginning  on  the  northeasterly  corner  of  Man- 
lius L. ,  running   thence  to  the  northeasterly 

corner  of  the  village  of  Salina,  thence  along  the 
northerly  line  of  said  village  of  Salina,  to  the 
northwesterly  corner  of  the  same,  thence  south- 
westerly to  the  Onondaga  Lake,  thence  along  the 
southeasterly  shore  of  said  lake  to  the  center  of 
Onondaga  Creek,  thence  southerly  along  the  cent^ 
of  said  creek  to  the  line  of  the  village  of  Syracuse, 

I     thence  westerly  and  southerly  along  such  line  to 


^       y 

The  subject  of  this  sketch  was  born  in  the  town  of  Onon- 
daga, Onondaga  Co.,  July  6, 1808.  He  was  the  second  child  in 
a  family  of  three  children  of  Gerry  Stevens  and  Charlotte  Hard, 
the  former  a  native  of  Killingworth  (now  Clinton),  Conn.,  the 
latter  a  native  of  Washington  Co.,  N.  Y.  His  father  came  to 
Onondaga  County  about  the  year  1800,  and  hence  was  one  of 
the  pioneers  of  the  county. 

From  the  historical  collection  of  John  L.  Barber,  of  Con- 
necticut, it  appears  that  the  Stevens'  came  from  the  county  of 
Kent,  England,  to  Guilford,  Conn.  Among  the  first  planters 
there  appear  the  names  of  Thomas  and  John  Stevens.  These 
families  removed  to  Killingworth  in  the  year  1665,  and  among 
the  first  settlers  there  are  the  names  of  Thomas  and  William 
Stevens.  The  latter  of  these  had  a  son,  Josiah,  also  called 
Deacon  Stevens,  and  sometimes  called  Captain  Stevens,  born  a.d. 
1670,  and  died  March  15, 1754,  from  whom  the  subject  of  this 
memoir  traces  his  descent,  through  his  grandfather,  Jeremiah. 
There  is  little  doubt  that  one  of  the  ancestors,  named  Thomas, 
is  the  same  spoken  of  in  Fox's  Book  of  Martyrs,  who  suffered 
martyrdom  by  being  burned  to  death  at  Rye,  in  the  county  of 
Kent,  England,  1557. 

Before  George  was  three  years  of  age  his  father  died,  leaving 
a  wife  and  three  children.  She  was  afterwards  married  to  Cyprian 
Heberd,  a  carpenter  and  joiner,  who  built  some  of  the  first  manu- 
factories of  coarse  salt  in  Salina,  and  with  whom  George  spent 
his  early  life  learning  the  trade,  attending  the  common  school 
winters,  and  for  two  terms  attended  the  Onondaga  academy. 
At  the  age  of  sixteen  he  went  to  Troy,  and  afterwards  to  New 
York  to  complete  his  trade,  and  while  there  (1828)  he  laid  a 
house-floor  made  of  lumber  matched  with  tongue  and  groove, 
and  is  said  to  be  the  first  man  in  the  United  States,  and  possibly 
in  the  world,  who  laid  such  a  floor.  On  arriving  at  age  he 
returned  to  his  native  county,  and  for  the  next  six  years  worked 
at  his  trade.  He  then  built  several  salt  manufactories  in  Salina, 
and  was  one  of  the  fir.st  to  manufacture  tine  salt.  Altogether 
he  has  spent  thirty-three  years  in  the  manufacture  of  salt,  and 


J.^'i.'-^^T^ 


has  been  closely  identified  with  that  interest.  He  also  carried 
on  in  the  meantime  the  grocery  business  for  four  years ;  was 
a  manufacturer  of  potash  for  three  years,  and  a  forwarding 
merchant  for  four  years.  Until  within  a  few  years  his  life  has 
been  one  of  great  activity,  and  his  efforts  have  been  such  as  to 
perform  his  part  in  contributing  to  the  best  interests  of  the  city 
of  which  he  is  now  an  honored  citizen  in  his  seventieth  year. 
Highly  esteemed  by  his  fellow-men,  he  has  held  many  offices 
of  responsibility  and  trust,  discharging  the  duties  of  the  same 
with  that  integrity  and  consideration  which  has  characterized 
his  whole  life. 

He  has  lived  to  see  the  city,  with  all  of  its  present  wealth 
and  business,  rise  from  a  village  of  three  hundred  persons.  He 
was  next  to  the  last  president  of  the  village  before  its  organi- 
zation as  a  city,  and  since  which  time  he  has  served  several 
terms  as  assessor,  overseer  of  the  poor,  and  supervisor  of  the 
fourth  ward,  in  which  he  resides. 

In  the  year  1864  he  was  elected  police  justice  of  the  city, 
which  office  he  held  until  a  paraljftic  stroke  in  the  year  1867 
compelled  him  to  relinquish  the  duties  of  that  office  and  retire 
to  private  life.  In  the  years  1851  and  1852  he  represented 
his  district  in  the  State  legislature. 

In  1852  he  became  a  director  b  the  Merchants'  bank,  and 
has  held  the  office  until  the  present  time.  He  was  president  of 
the  same  the  year  previous  to  his  illness.  He  has  been  a  director 
of  the  Onondaga  salt  company  from  the  time  of  its  organization. 

For  his  first  wife  he  married,  in  the  year  1831,  Harriet, 
daughter  of  Moses  Stebbins,  of  Springfield,  Mass.,  by  whom 
he  had  two  children, — Henry  Howard  (died  in  infancy)  and 
Harriet  (deceased),  who  married  A.  C.  Chase,  present  postmaster 
of  the  city  of  Syracuse.  His  wife  died  in  183G,  aged  twenty-eight 
years.  For  his  second  wife,  in  1840,  he  married  Mrs.  Lydia  P., 
widow  of  Capt.  Joseph  Fitch,  of  New  London,  Conn.,  and 
daughter  of  Capt.  Nathaniel  Barns,  of  Westerly,  R.  I.,  by  whom 
he  has  had  four  children,— Alice,  George  H.  (deceased),  Joseph 
F.,  and  Kate. 


IJied  April  rth,  1S7N,  since  the  publication  ol  the  uliovo. 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


143 


the  south  bounds  of  the  town  of  Salina,  thence  east 
along  the  south  bounds  of  the  town  of  Salina  to 
the  east  bounds  thereof,  thence  northerly  along  the 
east  bounds  of  said  town  to  the  place  of  beginning, 
shall  hereafter  be  known  as  the  '  City  of  Syracuse.'  " 

Section  second  of  the  act  divided  the  city  into 
four  wards,  as  follows  : 

All  that  part  of  the  city  lying  east  of  Onon- 
daga Creek  and  north  of  Division  and  Pond  streets, 
was  made  the  First  Ward  ;  all  the  rest  of  the  city 
lying  north  of  the  center  of  the  Erie  Canal,  was 
made  the  Second  Ward  ;  the  Third  Ward  included 
that  portion  of  the  city  lying  south  of  the  Erie 
Canal  and  west  of  Montgomery  street  as  far  south 
as  Burt  street,  thence  west  of  Salina  street  to  the 
southern  boundary  of  the  city;  the  remainder  of 
the  city  constituted  the  Fourth  Ward. 

The  following  certificate  of  the  Clerk  of  Onon- 
daga county  shows  that  an  election  was  held  by  the 
citizens  of  both  villages,  for  the  purpose  of  ratify- 
ing the  charter,  on  the  3d  of  January,  1848  : 

"  Whereas,  By  the  provisions  of  an  act  entitled 
'An  Act  to  Incorporate  the  City  of  Syracuse,' 
passed  December  14,  1847,  an  election  was  held  in 
each  of  the  villages  of  Syracuse  and  Salina,  on  the 
third  day  of  January,  one  thousand  eight  hundred 
and  forty-eight  ;  and  from  the  returns  made  and 
filed  in  the  office  of  the  Clerk  of  the  County  of 
Onondaga  by  the  Trustees  of  said  villages  respec- 
tively, pursuant  to  said  act,  it  appears  that  the  whole 
number  of  votes  given  at  said  election  at  the  poll 
held  in  the  village  of  Syracuse,  was  one  thousand 
eight  hundred  and  forty-three  ;  of  which  the  whole 
number  of  votes  having  thereon  the  word  '  Charter  ' 
was  ten  hundred  and  seventy-two,  and  that  the 
whole  number  of  votes  having  thereon  the  words 
'  No  Charter '  was  seven  hundred  and  seventy-one. 
That  the  whole  number  of  votes  given  at  said 
election  at  the  poll  held  in  the  village  of  Salina, 
was  four  hundred  and  twenty-four ;  of  which  the 
whole  number  of  votes  having  thereon  the  word 
'  Charter '  was  three  hundred  and  eighty-five  ;  and 
the  whole  number  having  thereon  the  words  '  No 
Charter '  was  thirty-nine. 

"  A  majority  of  votes  at  each  of  said  villages 
having  been  thus  given  in  favor  of  said  charter,  as 
appears  from  said  returns  on  file  in  the  office  of  the 
Clerk  of  the  County  of  Onondaga,  as  aforesaid  :  I, 
Vivus  W.  Smith,  Clerk  of  said  County,  in  pur- 
suance of  the  provisions  of  the  Seventeenth  Sec- 
tion of  Title  X  of  said  Act,  do  make  and  publish 
this  statement,  and  certify  that  the  said  act  of  in- 
corporation becomes  a  law  on  the  day  of  the  first 
publication  of  this  certificate. 

In  testimony  whereof,  I  have  hereunto  set 
[l.  s.]         my  hand  and  affixed  the  seal  of  the  said 
County  of  Onondaga,    this    5th    day  of 
January,  1848. 

V.  W.  Smith,  Clerk." 

First  City  Officers. 
At  the  first  Charter  Election,  held  on  the  first 


Ttiesday  in  March,  1848,  the  following  officers  were 
elected  : 

Hon.  Harvey  Baldwin,  Mayor. 
Aldermen. 

First  Ward — James  Lynch,  Elizur  Clark. 

Second  ll'ard — Ale.xander  McKinstry,  John  B. 
Burnet. 

Third  Ward — William  H.  Alexander,  Gardner 
Lawrence. 

Fourth  Ward — Henry  W.  Durnford,  Robert  Fur- 
man. 

In  January,  1849,  ^  census  was  taken  which 
showed  that  the  city  contained  a  small  fraction  less 
than  16,000  inhabitants. 

Mayors  of  the  City  of  Syracuse. 
First  Mayor,  1848,  Harvey  Baldwin;  1849,  Elias 
W.  Leavenworth;  1850,  Alfred  H.  Hovey  ;  185 1, 
Moses  D.  Burnet ;  1852,  Jason  C.  Woodruff;  1853, 
Dennis  McCarthy;  1854,  Allen  Munroe ;  1855, 
Lyman  Stevens;  1856-57-58,  Charles  F.  Willis- 
ton  ;  1859,  Elias  W.  Leavenworth  ;  i860,  Amos 
Westcott ;  1861-62,  Charles  Andrews  ;  1863,  Daniel 
Bookstaver ;  1864,  Archibald  C.  Powell;  1865- 
66-6"],  William  D.  Stewart ;  1868,  Charles  Andrews  ; 
1869-70,  Charles  P.  Clark;  1871-72,  Francis  E. 
Carroll ;  1873,  William  J.  Wallace  ;  1874,  Nathan  F. 
Graves;  1875,  George  P.  Hier ;  1876,  John  J. 
Grouse  ;   1877-78,  J.  J.  Belden. 

Postmasters. 
John  Wilkinson,  1820;  Jonas  Earll,  Jr.,  1837; 
Henry  Raynor,  1841  ;  William  W.  Teall,  1845  ; 
William  Jackson,  1849;  Henry  J.  Sedgwick,  1853 
and  1857;  Patrick  H.  Agan,  1861  ;  George  L. 
Maynard,  1865  ;  D wight  H.  Bruce,  1871  ;  A.  C. 
Chase,  1876,  present  Postmaster. 

The  Old  Mill-Pond. 
An  improvement  of  no  little  importance  to  the 
city  was  the  conversion  of  the  old  mill-pond  into 
valuable  building  lots,  which  are  now  occupied  by 
substantial  manufacturing  estabhshments,  business 
blocks,  public  buildings  and  residences.  It  will  be 
remembered  that  the  first  dam  and  mills  were 
built  by  Abraham  Walton  in  1805.  The  dam  was 
constructed  of  logs  across  Onondaga  Creek  at  West 
Genesee  street,  and  at  that  time  the  Genesee  Turn- 
pike passed  over  it.  About  a  year  after  its  con- 
struction, it  was  swept  away  by  a  heavy  spring 
freshet,  and  another  log  dam  was  built  at  the  cross- 
ing of  West  Water  street,  which  was  removed  in 
1824,  and  a  substantial  stone  dam  erected  in  its 
place.  Then  came  the  stone  mill  erected  by  Samuel 
Booth  for  the  Syracuse  Company  in  1825.  The  mill- 


'44 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


pond  covered  so  large  a  surface  and  was  for  masy 
yearsthecauseof  so  much  sickness  in  the  village  that 
it  was  finally  emptied  by  tearing  away  the  dam,  and 
in  184S,  under  the  administration  of  Mayor  Bald- 
win, the  work  of  improving  this  portion  of  the  city 
was  begun.  It  consisted  of  the  straightening  of 
Onondaga  Creek  and  the  filling  in  of  portions  of 
the  mill-pond  with  earth  from  Prospect  Hill. 

The  work  was  carried  forward  under  the  adminis- 
tration of  Mayor  Leavenworth  in  1849,  who  had 
Jefferson  (now  Regimental)  Park  laid  out  in  about 
the  center  of  the  ground  formerly  occupied  by  the 
mill-pond.  The  land  then  belonged  to  the  State, 
and  comprised  about  nine  acres,  including  the  site 
of  the  pond  and  the  neck  of  land  extending  to  the 
center  of  Onondaga  Creek.  Mr.  Leavenworth  had 
a  map  made. of  the  land  including  the  Park,  and 
obtained  the  consent  of  the  Commissioners  of  the 
Land  Office  for  its  sale,  on  condition  that  it 
would  bring  S9.000  ;  otherwise  the  sale  was  to  be 
null  and  void.  The  land  was  offered  upon  this 
condition,  and  at  the  sale  brought  over  S  16,000. 

The  center  of  this  ground  is  now  occupied  by  the 
fine  State  Arsenal,  while  the  Binghamton  Freight 
and  Passenger  Depots  and  other  substantial  struc- 
tures occupy  other  portions  of  it. 

The  first  Arsenal  building  was  erected  in  1858, 
in  which  year  the  site  was  conveyed  to  the  State. 
The  cost  of  the  building  was  S8,ooo  ;  the  State  ap- 
propriated $5,000,  and  Si, 800  was  raised  by  indi- 
vidual subscription.  This  building  was  destroyed 
by  fire  in  1871.  The  present  building — a  much 
larger  and  more  ornamental  structure — was  erected 
in  1872  74,  at  a  cost  of  ?8o,coo ;  Horatio  N. 
White,  Architect.  This  building  is  known  as  the 
State  Arsenal,  and  is  the  headquarters  of  the  51st 
Regiment.  loth  Brigade,  6th  Division,  &c.,  National 
Guard  of  the  State  of  New  York." 

BuKViNG  Grounds — OAKwoon  Cemetery. 

For  the  following  brief  sketch  of  the  burying 
places  in  Syracuse,  we  are  indebted  to  a  little  work 
entitled  "  Oakwood,"  a  history  of  the  incorporation 
and  dedication  of  Oakwood  Cemetery.  The  first 
white  person  who  was  buried  within  the  limits  of 
the  city,  and  probably  within  the  bounds  of  Onon- 
daga County,  was  Benjamin  Nukerk,  who  came  to 
the  wilds  of  Onondaga  as  an  Indian  trader  with 
Ephraim  Webster  in  1786.  He  died  December  7, 
1787,  and  was  buried  on  a  little  eminence  which 
overlooks  the  Onondaga  Lake  and  its  shores,  now 
embraced  in  Farm  Lot  No.  310,  lying  directly  in 
the  rear  of  the   residence  of  William  Judson,  on 

*  See  Roiter  oi  Olficeri  eliewhere. 


West  Genesee  street.     The  head  and  foot  stones 
are  still  standing,  bearing  the  inscription  : 

Be.njamin  Nukerk, 

Died  Dec.   7th,    1787, 

Aged  37  years. 

About  the  year  1845,  Joseph  Savage,  Esq.,  who 
owns  the  land  occupied  by  this  grave,  had  occasion 
to  dig  a  trench  two  or  three  feet  below  the  surface, 
and  while  doing  so  struck  upon  a  line  of  graves. 
On  examination  they  proved  to  be  placed  in  a  direct 
line  for  some  twenty  or  thirty  feet,  and  consisted  of 
quite  a  number  of  bodies.  The  bones  were  mostly 
decomposed,  except  the  skulls,  and  among  them 
were  found  quite  a  number  of  bullets.  Probably 
the  ground  was  never  used  as  a  permanent  burial 
place,  but  these  bodies  fell  in  some  battle  of  which, 
perhaps,  we  have  no  record  and  were  hastily  buried 
here  in  the  sandy  loam  of  this  beautiful  little  emi- 
nence. But  it  may  be  otherwise,  as  Mr.  Savage 
found  other  remains  in  difierent  places  on  the  same 
little  hillock,  one,  the  skull  of  which  had  evidently 
been  cleft  by  a  tomahawk.  A  gun,  brass  kettle, 
flints  and  pipes  were  also  found  from  time  to  time. 
Probably  the  Indians  had  occupied  this  spot  after 
Ephraim  Webster  established  his  trading  post  here. 

The  first  burials  in  the  village  of  Salina  were 
made  on  ground  now  known  as  Lot  No.  8  in  Block 
No.  18,  near  the  intersection  of  Spring  and  Free 
streets.  They,  however,  ceased  to  bury  there  be- 
fore 1794,  and  began  to  make  interments  on  the 
ground  now  embraced  in  Washington  Park,  and  near 
the  spot  where  the  Presbyterian  Church  (recent- 
ly removed)  was  afterwards  built.  Mrs.  Nancy  T. 
Gilchrist,  the  mother  of  Ira  A.  Gilchrist,  and  several 
members  of  the  families  of  Dexter  and  Herring  were 
buried  here, —  Mrs.  Gilchrist  in  1794.  Burials 
were  made  here  also  but  a  few  years,  when  finding 
the  location  too  near  the  dwellings,  they  began  to 
bury  upon  the  ridge  which  runs  through  Block  No. 
40,  in  the  rear  of  the  residence  of  James  Lynch, 
Esq.,  and  in  the  immediate  vicinity  of  that  formerly 
occupied  by  the  late  Alfred  Northam,  Esq.  This, 
too,  was  abandoned  in  1801,  when  Sheldon  Logan, 
at  that  time  Superintendent  of  the  Onondaga  Salt 
Springs,  laid  out  a  piece  of  ground  then  owned  by 
the  State,  for  a  public  burying  ground.  It  was  used 
as  such  till  the  year  1S29,  and  a  few  of  the  bodies 
buried  in  Washington  Park,  including  that  of  Mrs. 
Gilchrist,  and  perhaps  some  from  Block  No.  40, 
were  removed  to  the  new  grounds.  Block  No.  59 
in  the  First  Ward,  covers  the  site  of  the  grounds 
laid  out  by  Mr.  Logan. 

By  an  act  of  the  Legislature  passed  in  1829, 
(Chap.  243)  Block  No.  43  was  substituted  for  Block 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


145 


No.  59,  for  the  purpose  of  a  public  cemetery.  The 
trustees  of  the  village  of  Salina,  as  by  law  directed, 
removed  the  bodies  from  the  old  ground  to  the  new  ; 
the  former  was  sold  at  public  auction,  and  Block  No. 
43  has  been  used  as  a  cemetery  from  that  time  to 
the  present.  The  lots  are  nearly  or  quite  all  taken 
up  and  occupied. 

It  may  be  proper  to  state  here  that  Mr.  Isaac 
VanVleck,  one  of  the  best  known  among  the  early 
settlers,  was  buried  on  Lot  8,  Block  13,  on  what  has 
been  designated  the  Schouten  Lot. 

In  1834,  previous  to  the  act  of  the  Legislature 
(Laws  1835,  Chap.  160,)  incorporating  Lodi  with 
the  village  of  Syracuse,  the  inhabitants  of  that  lo- 
cality established  a  small  cemetery  upon  the  hill  on 
Beech  street  south  of  East  Genesee,  on  Farm  Lot 
No.  197.  The  late  Oliver  Teall,  Esq.,  who  then 
held  a  contract  for  the  lot,  furnished  the  land  and 
offered  an  acre  of  ground,  or  more  if  desired,  on 
condition  that  the  people  in  that  vicinity  would 
clear  and  fence  it.  About  half  an  acre  was  en- 
closed, and  it  has  been  since  mostly  occupied,  al- 
though of  late  years  it  has  been  almost  entirely 
abandoned  as  a  burying  place. 

The  first  burials  within  the  limits  of  what  was 
formerly  the  village  of  Syracuse  were  made  on  land 
now  enclosed  in  Block  No.  105,  near  the  intersec- 
tion of  Clinton  and  Fayette  streets.  They  did  not 
probably  exceed  twenty  or  thirty  in  number,  and 
the  citizens  ceased  to  bury  there  previous  to  1819. 
When  the  village  was  laid  out  by  Messrs.  Owen 
Forman  and  John  Wilkinson,  and  a  map  made 
of  the  same,  no  spot  of  ground  seems  to  have  been 
set  apart  for  a  cemetery,  and  from  18 19  to  1S24,  all 
burials  were  made  at  Salina,  Onondaga  Hill,  or  On- 
ondaga Hollow.  The  first  person  buried  in  what 
is  now  designated  the  "Old  Cemetery"  was  Mrs. 
Eliza  Spencer,  the  first  wife  of  Hon.  Thomas  Spen- 
cer, who  died  on  the  2d  day  of  April,  1824.  After 
the  village  passed  into  the  hands  of  the  Syracuse  Com- 
pany, they  probably  set  apart  this  piece  of  ground 
for  a  cemetery  ;  and  it  continued  to  be  used  as  such 
till  1 84 1. 

On  the  1st  of  July,  1841,  the  grounds  embraced 
in  Rose  Hill  Cemetery,  containing  a  fraction  over 
twenty-two  acres,  were  purchased  of  George  F. 
Leitch,  by  the  Trustees  of  the  village  in  compli- 
ance with  a  vote  of  the  citizens.  There  was  much 
opposition  to  the  purchase  of  this  ground,  on  ac- 
count of  its  nearness  to  the  village  and  for  other 
reasons,  and  a  second  meeting  was  called,  hoping 
that  the  citizens  would  reconsider  their  decision. 
A  majority,  however,  voted  in  favor  of  it  a  second 

time,  and  the  property  was  purchased  and  laid  out 
19* 


as  a  cemetery.  On  motion  of  General  Granger  two 
hundred  dollars  were  voted  at  the  same  meeting  for 
the  improvement  of  the  grounds,  which  the  Trus- 
tees proceeded  at  once  to  lay  out.  Ambrose  S. 
Townsend,  who  died  on  the  24th  of  August,  1841, 
was  the  first  person  buried  at  Rose  Hill.  He  was 
the  eldest  son  of  John  Townsend,  Esq  ,  of  Albany, 
and  grandson  of  the  late  Ambrose  Spencer. 

Oakwood. 

As  a  cemetery  Rose  Hill  was  never  satisfactory 
to  a  large  number  of  the  citizens  of  Syracuse. 
The  topography  was  unfavorable,  more  than  half 
of  the  surface  being  a  steep  side  hill,  not  easily  ac- 
cessible, and  the  whole  destitute  of  natural  trees 
and  shrubbery.  It  was  by  many  deemed  incapable 
of  those  high  adornments  which  the  public  taste 
now  demands.  For  these  and  other  reasons  an 
early  desire  was  manifested  by  many  prominent 
citizens  to  procure  grounds  for  a  cemetery  more  in 
conformity  with  the  higher  cultivation  of  modern 
taste  on  the  subject.  Accordingly,  as  early  as  1852 
and  the  years  immediately  following,  a  number  of 
meetings  were  held  and  the  subject  of  a  new 
cemetery  was  fully  discussed.  Committees  were 
appointed  for  the  purpose  of  thoroughly  examining 
the  vicinity  of  the  city  in  all  directions  and  finding 
the  locality  best  adapted  in  all  respects  to  the  pur- 
poses of  a  rural  cemetery.  These  committees  care- 
fully performed  their  duty  and  the  unanimous  con- 
clusion was  finally  reached,  that  the  hundred  acres 
of  land  best  fitted  for  all  the  purposes  desired  was 
that  now  embraced  within  the  limits  of  Oakwood. 

The  persons  who  most  particularly  interested 
themselves  at  this  time  were  Messrs.  Henry  A. 
Dillaye,  Charles  B.  Sedgwick,  John  B.  Burnet, 
Robert  B.  Raymond,  Charles  Pope,  Hamilton 
White,  A.  C.  Powell,  C.  Tyler  Longstreet,  Israel 
Hall,  John  Wilkinson,  Allen  Munroe  and  E.  W. 
Leavenworth. 

No  immediate  action  was  taken  with  regard  to 
the  purchase  of  the  grounds,  and  in  the  midst  of 
other  pursuits  of  more  pressing  personal  interest,  it 
was  delayed  till  the  summer  of  1857,  when  the  sub- 
ject was  again  revived  by  Messrs.  Hamilton  White, 
J.  L.  Bagg,  Lewis  H.  Redfield,  C.  Tyler  Long- 
street,  A.  C.  Powell,  John  Wilkinson  and  Henry  A. 
Dillaye.  The  papers  were  drawn  up  preparatory  to 
the  organization  of  an  Association ;  the  terms  of 
the  purchase  of  the  grounds  were  verbally  agreed 
upon,  when  the  whole  subject  was  suddenly  put  to 
rest  by  the  great  pecuniary  revulsion  of  that  year. 
A  final  and  eventually  successful  effort  was  again 
made  in  the  summer  of  1858,  principally  by  Messrs. 


146 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


White  and  Leavenworth,  which  was  continued  with 
little  interruption  till  the  summer  of  1859.  Having 
arranged  with  Charles  A.  Haker,  Esq.,  for  the  pur- 
chase of  the  front  twenty  acres,  and  with  Henry 
Raynor,  Esq.,  for  the  balance  of  the  ground,  the 
first  object  to  which  attention  was  directed  was  the 
removal  of  the  Jamesville  Plank  Road  from  the 
bounds  of  the  proposed  cemetery.  It  became  nec- 
essary to  procure  the  consent  of  a  majority  of  the 
stockholders, — afterwards  of  a  majority  of  the  inhab- 
itants residing  on  the  cast  and  west  road  crossing 
the  said  Plank  Road  near  its  first  gate,  to  which  the 
road  was  to  be  changed, — next  of  the  Supervisors 
and  Commissioners  of  Highways  of  the  town  of 
Onondaga,  in  which  town  the  road  is  situated— and 
finally,  to  procuic  a  right  of  way  for  said  Plank 
Road  across  the  lands  of  Charles  A.  Baker,  Esq., 
and  Dr.  David  S.  Colvin. 

After  a  year  of  laborious  effort,  and  with  much 
aid  from  Mr.  Baker,  these  several  objects  were  suc- 
cessfully attained,  and  all  serious  obstacles  removed, 
except  the  raising  of  the  necessary  funds  for  the  pur- 
chase. To  that  important  service  Hon.  A.  C. 
Powell  for  weeks  devoted  a  large  portion  of  his 
time,  and  with  such  aid  as  he  had  from  Messrs. 
Hawley,  White  and  Leavenworth,  succeeded  early 
in  August  in  raising  the  necessary  amount  in  sub- 
scriptions, payable  in  one,  two  and  three  years  with 
interest. 

On  the  15th  of  August,  1859,  the  subscribers  to 
the  fund  met  at  the  Mayor's  office  and  organized  the 
Association  of  Oakwood,  and  elected  the  following 
trustees :  Hamilton  White,  J.  P.  Haskins,  John 
Crouse,  John  Wilkinson,  E.  W.  Leavenworth,  Arch- 
ibald C.  Powell,  Austin  Myers,  Allen  Munroe, 
Timothy  R.  Porter,  Robert  G.  Wynkoop  Thomas 
G  Alvord,  J.  Dean  Hawley.  On  the  following  day 
a  meeting  of  the  trustees  was  held  at  the  office  of 
Hon.  E.  W.  Leavenworth  and  the  following  officers 
were  chosen  :  E.  W.  Leavenworth,  President  ;  A. 
C.  Powell,  Vice-President:  Allen  Munroe,  Secre- 
tary, and  Hamilton  White,  Treasurer. 

At  the  same  meeting  a  resolution  was  adopted, 
on  motion  of  Mr.  Alvord,  instructing  the  officers  of 
the  association  to  purchase  of  Messrs.  Baker  and 
Raynor  the  lands  now  embraced  in  Oakwood  on 
the  terms  theretofore  agreed  upon,  viz  :  ?9,5CXD  for 
the  twenty  acres  in  front,  bought  of  Mr.  Baker,  and 
;$iS,ooo  for  the  seventy-two  and  seventy-nine  one 
hundredth  acres,  bought  of  Mr.  Raynor.  Agree- 
ably to  such  resolution,  the  purchase  was  made  and 
the  papers  exchanged  on  the  5th  of  September 
thereafter. 

All  the  lots  in  Rose  Hill  Cemetery,  and  also  in 


that  at  Salina,  having  been  sold,  and  the  Common 
Council  having  resolved  to  sell  the  north  eight  acres 
of  the  former,  the  Trustees  made  immediate  prep- 
arations for  the  improvement  of  the  grounds,  and 
early  in  October,  Howard  Daniels,  Esq.,  an  accom- 
plished landsdape  gardener  from  the  city  of  New 
York,  with  the  aid  of  fifty  or  sixty  men,  commenced 
work  and  continued  it  till  the  month  of  December. 

The  first  person  buried  at  Oakwood  was  Mrs. 
Nellie  G.  Wilkinson,  who  died  on  the  6th,  and  was 
buried  on  Tuesday,  the  8th  day  of  November,  1859 

The  first  monument  of  any  kind  erected  within 
the  bounds  of  the  cemetery,  was  that  of  James 
Crouse,  Esq.,  on  Section  No.  13,  during  the  winter 
of  1 859-' 60. 

The  little  pamphlet  from  which  we  have  selected 
the  matter  for  this  history  closes  its  account  of  the 
progress  of  Oakwood  in  the  following  words  : 
"  Thus,  at  length,  after  nearly  ten  years  of  delays, 
difficulties  and  disajipointments,  after  the  project 
had  been  more  than  once  abandoned,  and  our  hopes 
all  but  extinguished,  this  lovely  spot  of  ground  was 
secured  for  the  final  repose  of  our  dead  :  to  be 
visited,  admired  and  hallowed  in  our  memories 
while  we  live,  by  a  thousand  sacred  and  tender  re- 
collections, and  to  be  the  beautiful  resting  place  of 
our  bodies  when  summoned  to  our  final  home." 
We  may  add  that  the  grounds  are  the  most  beauti- 
ful and  admirably  adapted  to  the  purposes  of  a  rural 
cemetery  of  any  in  the  country,  and  the  art  dis- 
played in  their  decoration  and  the  rich  and  costly 
monuments  will  well  repay  the  stranger  for  a  visit 
to  Oakwood. 

Dedication. 

On  Tuesday,  the  3d  day  of  November,  1859,  the 
grounds  were  dedicated  with  appropriate  ceremo- 
nies to  the  sacred  [uirpose  of  a  resting  place  for  the 
dead.  The  Hon.  Wm.  J.  Bacon,  of  Utica,  deliv- 
ered the  Address,  Alfred  B.  Street,  Esq.,  of  Albany, 
the  Poem,  and  Rev.  John  Pierpont,  of  Boston,  and 
Mrs.  Thomas  T.  Davis,  of  Syracuse,  furnished  re- 
spectively an  Ode  and  a  Hymn  for  the  occasion, 
which  was  one  of  deep  interest  to  the  people  of 
Syracuse,  many  thousands  testifying  their  apprecia- 
tion of  the  importance  of  the  object  attained  by 
their  presence  on  the  ground.  The  day,  which  was 
lowery  and  threatening  in  the  morning,  became 
bright  and  beautiful  and  one  of  the  plcasantest  of 
the  season. 

The  exercises,  including  the  opening  address  by 
Hun.  E.  W.  Leavenworth,  President  of  the  Ceme- 
tery Association,  and  the  oration  by  Hon.  William 
J.  Bacon,  were  all  exceptionally  interesting  and 
appropriate,  but  we  have  space  only  for  the  Hymn 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


147 


of  Mrs.  Thomas  T.  Davis,  and  the  Poem  of  Mr. 
Alfred  B.  Street,  which  deserve  a  place  in  the  more 
permanent  records  of  the  city  and  county,  as  among 
some  of  the  finest  specimens  of  our  mortuary  lite- 
rature, 

HYMN. 

BY  MRS.  THOMAS  T.  DAVIS. 
Air — Pleycl's  Hymn. 

Life  and  love  with  tender  hand 
Guard  and  deck  this  Silent  Land  ; 
Cypress  arch  and  willow  wreath 
Shade  the  sacred  sod  beneath  ; 
Sun  and  starlight  gild  the  shrine, 
Flow'ry  chaplets  fondly  twine  ; 
Angel  hosts,  your  vigils  keep 
Where  our  loved  and  lost  shall  sleep. 

Loved,  not  lost !     No  fear  nor  gloom 
Shrouds  the  portals  of  the  tomb ; 
Death  revealed  immortal  day 
When  the  rock  was  rolled  away. 
Grave  and  crypt  and  pallid  stone 
Mark  not  the  realm  of  Death  alone ; 
Life  but  sleeps,  while  Death  survives, — 
Death  shall  die,  and  Life  arise. 

Shed  not  then  the  frenzied  tear  ; 
Robe  in  light  the  pall,  the  bier  ; 
Yonder  see  the  shining  shore 
Where  our  loved  have  gone  before  ; 
Rear  the  marble  o'er  the  dead, 
Crown  with  flowers  the  dreamless  head  ; 
Calmly  wait  till  Life  shall  be 
Blended  with  eternity. 

This  hymn  was  sung  by  the  members  of  the  Syra- 
cuse Musical  Institute,  under  the  leadership  of  H, 
N.  White,  Esq. 

At  the  conclusion  of  Mayor  Leavenworth's  ad- 
dress, Alfred  B.  Street,  Esq.,  of  Albany,  pronounced 
the  following  exquisitely  beautiful  and  appropriate 

POEM  : 

O'er  life's  fresh  springtide,  when  the  blithsome  hours 
Dance  to  glad  music  through  perennial  flowers ; 
O'er  bounding  youth,  when  hope  points  ever  on, 
No  blossom  scentless,  and  no  color  wan  ; 
O'er  stately  manhood,  when  the  mountain  tread 
Seeks  the  far  prize  that  stars  the  crag  o'erhead  ; 
O'er  trembling  age,  when,  worn  with  toil  and  woe, 
It  turns  from  light  above  to  gloom  below  ; 
Darkens  a  shade,  mysterious,  cold  and  black, 

Mantling  the  flowery  as  the  wintry  track  ; 
Brooding  where  joy  its  diamond  goblet  quaifs  ; 
Where  daring,  loud  at  every  danger  laughs  ; 
Where  strength  securely  rests  on  future  years  ; 


Where  fame,  wealth,  pleasure,  each  its  votary  cheers  ; 
Death  is  that  shade,  inexorable  Death, 
With  ever-lifted  dart  at  all  of  mortal  breath. 

But  though  the  soul  that  lights  the  frame  depart. 

The  darkened  dust  is  sacred  to  the  heart. 

Around  the  spot  that  wraps  the  dead  from  sight, 

Lingers  thought's  tenderest,  love's  divinest  light; 

Hallowed  by  suffering,  it  remains  a  shrine 

Where  oft  sad  memory  wends,  its  fairest  flowers  to  twine. 

The  land  that  trod  through  Deluge-ooze  its  way, 

Gave  to  the  pyramid  its  mummied  clay. 

The  purple  skies  of  Art  and  Song  inurned 

The  sacred  ashes  sacred  fires  had  burned. 

The  Parsee  offered  to  his  God,  the  Sun, 

On  the  grand  crag  the  heart  whose  course  was  run. 

And  the  red  roamer  of  the  prairie  sea 

Yields  to  the  air  his  wrecked  mortality. 

But  not  to  pyramid,  though  mocking  Time, 

The  urn  funereal,  nor  the  sun  sublime. 

Nor  boundless  air,  nor  yet  the  waste  of  waves, 

That  stateliest,  mightiest,  most  august  of  graves — 

But  not  in  such  drear,  weltering  vastness  spread 

Should  Christian  hands  consign  the  Christian  dead. 

But  to  the  earth,  the  warm,  the  steadfast  earth. 

That,  touched  by  God's  own  finger,  gave  us  birth ; 

Where  to  the  resurrecting  sun  and  rain 

The  seed  but  perishes  to  live  again  ; 

Where  nature  hides  her  life  in  Winter's  gloom 

For  warbling  Spring  to  sing  it  into  bloom  ; 

Home  of  the  tree  that  sheds  its  leafy  showers 

For  the  new  garland  wreathed  by  vernal  hours  ! 

Home  of  the  priceless  fount !  the  matchless  gem  ! 

The  precious  gold  !  more  precious  grainy  stem  ! 

Yea,  as  we  woke  to  life  upon  her  breast, 

Her  loving  arms  should  fold  our  last  and  longest  rest. 

And  thus,  oh  lovely  Oakwood,  shalt  thou  spread 
Thy  sylvan  chambers,  for  the  slumbering  dead. 
Through  thy  green  landscapes  shall  Affection  stray, 
Weep  the  wild  tear,  with  softened  sadness  pray. 
Within  the  glen,  as  murmurings  fill  the  tree, 
A  voice  shall  seem  to  whisper,  "  Come  with  me  !  " 
And  the  green  hill  top — whence  the  sight  is  fraught, 
With  the  rich  painting  Nature's  hand  hath  wrought; 
Woodland  and  slope,  mount,  meadow  and  ravine. 
The  city's  white,  the  water's  purple  sheen. 
And  the  dim  mountain  tops,  until  the  gaze 
Pierces  where  distance  hangs  its  tender  haze — 
Tell  that  the  soul,  with  onward  pointed  eye, 
Finds  its  far  limit  only  in  the  sky. 
The  grassy  dingle  and  the  leafy  dell 
Shall  tremble  sadly  to  the  tolling  bell ; 
Where  now  wide  solitude  wraps  slope  and  glade 
For  winds  to  pipe  to  dancing  sun  and  shade, 
Shall  carved  memorials  of  the  dead  be  found 
Breathing  their  solemn  eloquence  around. 
Here,  shall  the  son,  in  some  prone  trunk,  descry 


148 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY.  NEW  YORK. 


The  sire  he  saw  in  life's  completeness  die ; 

Here,  shall  the  sire,  in  some  green  pine,  survey 

The  stately  son,  ere  death  had  claimed  its  prey ; 

Here,  in  the  flower,  the  mother  again  shall  see 

The  laughing  child  that  perished  at  her  knee  : 

Here,  the  weird  wind  shall  with  long,  melting  moan, 

Mingle  its  sadness  with  the  mourner's  own. 

And  the  drear  cloud,  low  brooding,  seem  a  part 

Of  the  dark  sorrow  hanging  on  the  heart ; 

Here,  too,  the  joyful  splendor  of  the  sun 

Shall  tell  the  life  the  loved  and  lost  hath  won. 

And  warblings  sweet,  the  landscape's  ear  that  fill 

Of  those  glad  strains  the  sounding  heavens  that  thrill. 

Summer  shall  here  hold  green  and  leafy  time, 

Emblem  of  those  that  perished  in  their  prime  ; 

Autumn  shall  shower  its  wreaths  upon  the  air. 

Sign  to  the  living  also  to  prepare  ; 

Winter  shall  spread  in  fierce  and  frowning  might. 

Great  type  of  death,  its  chilling  robes  of  white ; 

But  oh,  glad  thought !  in  Spring's  triumphant  reign 

Nature  shall  bound  in  radiant  joy  again, 

Bid  with  her  rapturous  life  Death's  horrors  flee. 

Type  of  that  glorious  truth — Man's  Immortality. 

Population  of  Svracuse. 

The  following  statement  of  the  population  of 
Syracuse  for  May,  1877,  is  taken  from  Boyd's  City 
Directory  : 

I  MALES.  I         FEMALES.         |     TOTAL. 


Wards. 


' 

_. 

• 

06 

J. 

« 

00 

M 

ri 

u 

b 

k. 

V 

-s 

c 

> 

c 

'    6 

D 

0 

D 

ist 1,336 

2d 2,405 

3d 1,092 

4th 2,324 

5<h ,  2.339 

6th 1,549 

7th 2,336 

8th 1,343 


1,247 
2,263 

937 
2,071 

>.:69 
603 

1.774 
1,071 


1,443 
2,236 
1,058 
2.739 
2,456 
1,671 
2,946 
',657 


1,189] 
2,061 

9451 
2,082 

1,759 

7«> 

',923 

i,o6ii 


5.215 
8,965 
4,032 
9,216 

8.323 
4.534 
8,979 
5-132 


Total 


14,724    11.735'   i6,2o6,   11,731!      54,396 


Population  in  1877 54>396 

Population  in  1876 54, '76 

Increase 220 

Village  of  Geddes 5,4o3 


Syracuse  (including  Geddes)  is 59.S04 

Svracuse  City  Water-Wokks. 
Among  the  first  to  advocate  a  system  of  water- 
works for  supplying  the  village  of  Syracuse  was 
Capt.  Oliver  Tcall,  who  was  the  first  Superintend- 
ent of  the  middle  division  of  the  Eric  Canal  upon 
its  opening  in  1820.  Captain  Teall  had  taken  a 
contract  on  the  canal  during  its  construction,  and 
had  removed  from  Manlius  to  the  Lodi  Locks  as 


early  as  18 19.  He  became  largely  interested  in 
land  in  that  vicinity,  and  erected  mills  at  Lodi, 
having  the  right  of  the  surplus  water  of  the  canal 
at  that  point,  which  right  he  retained  till  it  was 
finally  resumed  by  the  State.  In  connection  with 
Messrs.  Aaron  Burt  and  Harvey  Baldwin,  Mr.  Teall 
became  an  enterprising  and  wealthy  land-owner  in 
that  part  of  the  city  now  included  in  the  Eighth 
Ward,  formerly  Lodi,  but  incorporated  in  the  vil- 
lage of  Syracuse  in  1835.     (Laws  1835,  Chap.  160.) 

As  early  as  1821,  the  subject  of  water-works  in 
the  village  had  been  brought  before  the  Legislature. 
The  first  act,  entitled  '•  An  Act  to  supply  the  vil- 
lage of  Syracuse  with  wholesome  water,"  was  passed 
March  27,  1821.  (Laws  1821,  Chap.  176. 1  It 
granted  the  people  of  Syracuse  the  right  to  use 
sufficient  water  for  supplying  the  village  from  any 
of  the  springs  on  adjacent  lands  belonging  to  the 
State,  and  provided  for  the  election  of  three  Trus- 
tees, at  an  election  to  be  held  at  the  house  of  Ster- 
ling Cossit,  inn-keeper  in  said  village,  on  the  first 
Monday  in  May,  1821,  who  should  have  power  to 
transact  all  business  relating  to  the  water-works, 
and  to  carry  into  eflect  the  provisions  of  said  act. 
It  does  not  appear  that  the  provisions  of  said  act 
were  ever  carried  into  effect  or  that  anything  was 
done  under  it  towards  supplying  the  few  inhabitants 
then  in  the  village  with  water.  Probably  the  enter- 
prise would  not  pay  at  that  stage  of  settlement. 
The  villagers,  however,  wished  to  obtain  the  right 
and  to  keep  it  against  a  time  of  need,  for  the  mid- 
dle division  of  the  canal  was  then  open,  and  all 
were  anticipating  a  marvelous  growth  into  the  pro- 
portions of  a  city. 

The  act  incorporating  the  village,  passed  April 
13,  1S25,  (Laws  1825,  Chap.  124,1  vested  all  the 
rights,  property,  and  powers  of  the  Trustees  of  the 
Water-Works  in  the  village  corporation,  and  the 
hypothetical  water-works  were  placed  under  the 
control  of  the  trustees  of  said  village  till  1829. 
During  this  period  it  does  not  appear  that  the  trus- 
tees did  anything  practical  towards  supplying  the 
village  with  water. 

On  the  23d  of  April,  1829,  an  act  was  passed, 
(Laws  1829,  Chap.  236,)  authorizing  the  Trustees  of 
the  village  to  convey  to  Oliver  Teall,  his  heirs  and 
assigns,  all  the  rights,  property  and  powers  of  the 
Trustees  of  the  Syracuse  Water-Works  Company, 
as  vested  in  said  village  by  the  act  of  incorporation, 
for  a  term  of  twenty  years,  and  said  Oliver  Teall  was 
invested  with  all  the  rights  and  powers  granted  by 
the  original  act  of  1821.  This  act  also  prescribed 
the  amount  that  Mr.  Teall  should  charge  the  citizens 
for  water,  viz. :  a  private  family,  a  sum  not  e-xceed- 


Pliotos.  by 
W.  V.  KiiilgiT. 


William  Mctcalf  Clurke  was  burn  iii  Liinesboro,  Berkshire 
Co.,  Mass.,  Ajiril  3,  1800.  He  was  tlie  lifth  .son  of  Dr.  Hczeldah 
ClarlvB,  wlio  was  tile  son  of  Dr.  Jolin  Clarl<e,  of  Lebanon,  Conn.; 
son  of  Moses  Clarice,  of  Lebanon,  Conn.  ;  son  of  Daniel  Clarke, 
of  Colchester,  Conn.  ;  son  of  Hon.  David  Clarke,  who  came  to 
America  in  1639,  from  Warwickshire,  England,  and  settled  at 
Windsor,  Conn.  By  both  his  paternal  grandparents  he  is  de- 
scended, in  the  seventh  generation,  from  Simon  Huntington,  of 
England,  whose  sons,  Christopher  and  Simon,  Mr.  Clarke's  ances- 
tors, settled  at  Saybrook  in  1633,  and  finally  at  Norwich,  Conn. 

His  mother,  Lucy  Bingham,  was  a  daughter  of  the  Hon.  Moses 
Bliss,  of  Springfield,  Mass.  In  this  line  lie  is  in  the  seventh 
generation  from  Thomas  Bliss,  an  early  settler  of  Hartford,  Conn. 

By  his  maternal  grandmother  he  is  descended,  in  the  eighth 
generation,  from  Michael  Metcalf,  who  came  from  England  in 
1637,  and  settled  in  Dedhain,  Mass. 

One  of  the  paternal  great-grandmothers  of  Mr.  Clarke  was 
Elizabeth  Edwards,  second  daughter  of  Kev.  Timoth}'  Edwards, 
of  Windsor,  Conn.,  who  married  Colonel  Jabez  Huntington;  and 
one  of  his  maternal  great-grandmothers  was  Abigail  Edwards, 
sixth  daughter  of  Kev.  Timothy  Edwards,  who  married  William 
Metcalf;   both  sisters  of  President  Jonathan  Edwards. 

In  the  year  180.5,  Mr.  Clarke  emigrated  with  his  parents  to 
Onondaga  County,  arriving  at  Pompey  Hill  Nov.  2,  where  they 
occupied  the  "  Squire  Wood  House."  The  next  year  they  moved 
on  a  farm  lying  ten  miles  east  of  the  hill.  Mr.  Clarke's  early 
educational  opportunities  were  quite  fair,  and  he  improved  them 
to  the  utmost.  In  1815  he  obtained  a  clerkship  in  Col.  Camp's 
store,  at  Trumaiisburg,  N.  Y.,  whose  confidence  in  him  was  so 
great  that  he  often  intrusted  him  with  the  execution  of  very  difB- 
cult  duties.  He  then  went  to  Ithaca,  and  engaged  as  clerk  until 
Jan.  1,  1819,  when  he  returned  home,  and  pursued  his  studies  at 
the  Pompey  academy.  Some  time  later  he  made  a  trip  to  Kentucky, 
where  he  experienced  religion,  and  united  with  the  Concord  Pres- 
byterian church,  Nichols  county,  in  April,  1827.  He  taught  school 
most  of  the  time  while  there. 

In  April,  18i!8,  he  returned  to  Pompey,  traveling  a  distance  of 
700  miles.  In  the  year  1829  he  was  elected  school  commissioner 
of  the  town  of  Pompej-  by  the  anti-Masonic  party.  The  winters 
of  1880,  1831,  and  1831!  were  spent  in  teaching  the  district  schools 
of  Lafayette  Square,  Camillus  Village,  and  Pompey  Centre. 

From  the  spring  of  1832  to  1837  he  was  employed  in  mercantile 
houses  at  Manlius,  principally  that  of  Messrs.  E.  &  H.  Rhodes. 
While  there  he  became  acquainted  with  Clara  Catlin  Tyler,  whom 
he  married  June  7,  1836,  at  Harford,  Pa.,  where  she  was  born 


to -Ce(  ^r~€^      S-    Q)/Ciyy  K- 


April  9,  1810.  She  was  a  daughter  of  John  Tyler,  of  Harford,  son 
of  Deacon  John  Tyler,  of  Ararat,  Pa.  ;  son  of  Capt.  John  Tyler, 
of  Attleboro,  Mass.  ;  son  of  Ebenezer  Tyler,  of  Attleboro,  Mass.  ; 
son  of  Samuel  Tyler,  of  Mendon,  Mass.;  son  of  Job  Tyler,  the 
emigrant  ancestor,  who  was  born  in  1019,  and  came  to  America, 
and  settled  in  Andover,  Mass.,  about  1640. 

By  her  paternal  grandmother  she  is  de.scended,  in  the  eighth 
generation,  from  Eev.  Peter  Thacher,  of  Salisbury,  England, 
rector  of  Saint  Edmond's,  in  that  city.  His  son.  Rev.  Thomas 
Thacher,  came  to  America  in  103.5,  and  became  the  first  minister 
of  the  old  South  church,  Boston.  Mrs.  Clarke's  mother  was  Polly 
Wadsworth,  daughter  of  Epaphrus  Wadsworth,  formerly  of 
Litchfield,  Conn.  In  this  line  she  is  descended,  in  the  seventh 
generation,  from  Hon.  William  Wadsworth,  who  emigrated  from 
England  in  1632,  and  settled  in  Cambridge,  Mass.,  and  afterwards 
in  Hartford,  Conn. ;  also  from  his  son,  Capt.  Joseph  Wadsworth, 
of  "  Charter  Oak"  fame.  By  her  maternal  grandmother  she  is, 
in  the  eighth  generation,  from  Thomas  Catlin,  who  emigrated 
from  England,  or  Wales,  as  early  as  1644,  and  settled  in  Hartford, 
Conn.  The  Catlins  are  of  French  origin.  Mrs.  Clarke  received 
a  good  education,  and  was  preceptress  at  one  time  in  the  Cazeno- 
via  high  school,  and  also  in  the  Manlius  academy. 

In  1838,  Mr.  Clarke  was  appointed  deputy  county  clerk.  In 
1841  was  elected  clerk  of  Syracuse,  and  the  same  year  was  ap- 
pointed collector  by  the  board  of  trustees.  In  1843-44  was  a 
member  of  the  firm  of  Clarke  &  Sloat,  in  the  marble  business. 
In  1850  became  a  co-partner  of  Lyman  Kingsly,  in  the  sash  and 
blind  business,  which  he  continued  three  years.  On  Jan.  1,  1869, 
was  appointed  chief  clerk  of  the  searching  department,  which 
position  he  held  ten  consecutive  years.  In  1806  he  purchased  a 
residence,  with  fourteen  acres  of  land,  in  Onondaga  Valley,  about 
two  and  a  half  miles  from  the  city  of  Syracuse,  whore  he  now 
resides.  His  son,  Henry  Wadsworth,  is  civil  engineer  and  sur- 
vevor  of  Syracuse,  born  in  Harford,  Susquehanna  Co.,  Pa.,  Nov. 
6, 'l837.  Frances  Amelia,  his  daughter,  was  born  in  Syracuse, 
Dec.  0,  1839,  and  now  lives  with  her  parents.  Mr.  Clarke  is  a 
man  of  excellent  habits,  neither  chewing  tobacco,  drinking  liquor, 
nor  smoking.  It  has  been  his  life's  aim  to  stop,  in  his  humble  way, 
the  spread  of  intemperance.  He  has  identiBed  himself  with  the 
great  moral  and  .social  ideas  of  his  time  in  every  way  that  he  has 
been  able.  In  all  the  many  and  intricate  offices  which  have  been 
intrusted  to  him,  he  has  invariably  discharged  their  duties  with 
ability  and  integrity.  He  is  still  enjoying  good  health,  and  is 
pa.ssing  away  his  declining  years  in  the  sweet  consciousness  of 
having  led  an  upright  and  consistent  life. 


rtiolc*.  b]r  N.  8.  Bowdiib,  Syraciuc. 


^  ^^n^cyfi^   *^    «^A.x^sLfi. 


ALBERT  G.  SALISBURY. 


The  subject  of  tliin  sketch  was  born  in  Woodstock,  Oneida 
Co.,  N.  Y.,  Aug.  23,  1H13.  Hi'  wits  the  younj;ast  of  three 
HODS  of  Sylvester  Salisbury  and  Sarah  F.  Gleason,  both  of 
whom  wore  nalivf.s  of  Ma.s.f:ichu.<(!fts.  He  spent  his  cjirly  life 
auionj;  his  relatives,  liis  fatlier  liavinj;  died  wlien  he  was  only 
three  years  of  a^e.  At  about  the  a^e  of  seventeen  he  conceived 
the  idea  that  an  education  was  necessary  to  meet  the  future, 
and  rcKoiviKl  if  jKKwible  to  obtain  one.  Aei-ordiii^iy,  without 
means  jiecuniarily,  he  entered  the  academy  at  PouijH'y  Ifill, 
working  for  his  boanl.  llrre  his  time  was  a  constant  round  of 
activity,  but  he  advanced  so  ra]>idiy  in  his  studies,  both  at 
Fompey  and  White.-iborci,  that  he  was  enabled  afterwards  to 
engage  its  a  teacher  in  district  .schoiils.  Thus  he  nu't  the 
obitacles  80  common  to  self-made  men. 

About  the  year  1830  he  came  to  Syracuse,  opened  a  jirivale 
school,  subs4-(|uently  obtained  a  position  in  the  ]iulilie  sclustl, 
and  by  succi'ssive  gradations  he  ro.se  in  the  i-steem  of  the  people 
until,  uj)on  the  erection  of  the  village  of  Syracu.se  into  a  city, 
he  was  elected  as  the  first  superintendent  of  schools,  which 
office  he  enjoyed  for  .some  three  years,  and  suKmNpiently  held 
the  same  office  for  .several  terms,  and  either  ;ls  teacher  or  super- 
intendent was  connected  with  the  schools  of  the  city  until  18ti4, 
a  period  of  nearly  thirty  years.  In  this  labor  he  was  an  inde- 
fatigable worker,  possessing  marked  ability  as  an  instructor,  and 


more  than  ordinary  executive  ability,  and  many  of  the  business 
men  of  the  city  to-day  look  back  with  honor  to  the  faithful 
teacher  who  first  gave  them  an  insight  to  the  road  to  wealth  and 
prosperity.  In  the  year  lSt!4  he  entered  the  Army  of  the 
Rebellion  as  additional  paymaster  United  States  volunteers  for 
the  department  of  the  south,  with  the  title  of  major,  and  was 
mustered  out  a  brevet  colonel,  Oct.  21,  1807,  by  command  of 
General  Grant,  K.  D.  Townsend  being  jussisljint  adjutant-general. 

Returning  to  Syracuse,  he  received  the  appointment  of  warden 
and  agent  of  Auburn  prison,  which  position  he  held  for  one 
year  and  a  half,  and  until  the  change  of  the  State  administration. 
Returning  again  to  his  own  eily.  he  spent  the  balance  of  his  life 
mostly  in  ((uicl  at  home.  .^Ir.  Salisbury  was  identified  with  the 
Republican  party,  an  ardent  supporter  of  its  principles,  a  man 
of  a  retiring  nature,  never  .solicitous  of  publicity,  but  stood 
prominently  identified  with  every  good  work  and  cnt<'ry>ri8C 
tending  to  make  society  better.      lie  died  April  29,  1874. 

On  Oct.  12,  1842,  he  married  Miss  Sarah,  daughter  of  John 
Tallman  and  Clarissa  Vrooman,  of  Onondaga  County.  She 
was  born  Feb.  10,  1818,  and  still  survive-s  her  luLsband  at  the 
time  of  writing  this  sketch.  She  early  became  a  member  of 
the  Presbyterian  church  at  Castleton,  Ontario  county,  and  in 
1840,  coming  to  Syracuse,  united  with  the  Congregational 
church  of  this  city,  now  culled  Plymouth  church. 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


149 


ino-  five  dollars  a  year,  a  boarding  house  ten  dollars, 
and  a  tavern  ten  dollars.  In  case  Mr.  Teall  failed 
to  exercise  the  rights  and  powers  granted  him  by 
this  act  within  one  year  from  the  date  thereof,  they 
were  to  revert  again  to  the  trustees  of  the  village  ; 
which  they  did,  and  were  again  conveyed  to  the  said 
Oliver  Teall,  his  heirs  and  assigns,  for  a  period  of 
thirty-five  years,  by  an  act  passed  April  22,  1834. 
(Laws,  1834,  Chap.  151.)  Nothing  was  further  done 
till  March  29,  1842,  at  which  time  an  amendment  to 
the  former  acts  was  passed,  (Laws  1842,  Chap.  108,) 
allowing  Mr.  Teall  to  charge  ten  dollars  a  year  for 
supplying  water  to  a  private  family,  twenty  dollars 
to  a  boarding  house,  and  forty  dollars  to  a  tavern  or 
hotel. 

Under  this  amendment  Mr.  Teall  began  the  con- 
struction of  his  water-works.  The  first  wooden 
pipes  or  pump  logs  were  laid  in  1842,  or  early  in 
1843,  and  brought  water  to  the  village  from  the 
springs  situated  at  the  foot  of  the  hill  above  Lodi 
street,  on  Blocks  No.  404  and  No.  504.  Subse- 
quently Messrs.  Ira  Seymour  and  Aaron  Burt  were 
associated  with  Mr.  Teall  in  the  water-works,  the 
firm  being  Teall,  Seymour  and  Burt  till  1849,  or  till 
sometime  prior  to  the  formation  of  the  new  com- 
pany. 

On  the  15th  of  April,  1849,  the  present  Water- 
Works  Company  was  incorporated  by  special  act  of 
the  Legislature  under  the  name  and  style  of  the 
Syracuse  City  Water-Works  Company.  The  orig- 
inal incorporators  were  Oliver  Teall,  Ira  Seymour, 
John  Wilkinson,  Hamilton  White  and  Robert  Fur- 
man. 

The  act  of  incorporation  was  amended  April  8, 
1851,  (Laws  1851,  Chap.  104,)  requiring  the  Com- 
pany to  supply  water  on  certain  terms  to  the  Com- 
mon Council  of  the  city  for  extinguishing  fires  and 
other  purposes.  Again,  it  was  amended  March  22, 
1853,  (Laws,  1853,  Chap.  35,)  so  as  to  allow  the 
Company  to  increase  their  capital  stock  from  ^60,000 
to  such  an  amount  as  the  Directors  might  deem  ad- 
visable not  exceeding  $150,000,  such  increased 
stock  to  be  divided  into  shares  of  $$0  each.  The 
third  amendment,  passed  February  6,  1855,  (Laws 
1855,  Chap.  16,)  conferred  upon  the  Board  of  Di- 
rectors the  power  to  establish  rules  and  regulations 
for  the  use  of  water  from  their  works  so  as  to  pre- 
serve the  same  from  waste,  and  to  impose  such 
penalties  as  they  should  see  proper  for  the  violation 
of  said  rules  and  regulations,  not  exceeding  in  any 
case  the  sum  of  fifty  dollars.  Olher  amendments 
were  passed  in  1864,  1865,  and  1877. 

In  1849  the    Company  constructed  a  system  of 
water-works  described    as    follows :     The  springs 


in  the  valley  of  Furnace   Brook,  in  the   town  of 
Onondaga,  were  selected  for  the  supply  of  water. 
The  water  was  conducted  from   these  springs  by 
aqueducts  to  a  large  stone  well,  about  eighty  rods 
distant  from  each,  which  was  seventeen  feet  deep 
and  constructed  of  substantial  masonry.     The  well 
was  on  Lot  89,  in  the  town  of  Onondaga.     From 
this  well  there  was  a  main  culvert  or  aqueduct  laid 
towards  the  head  of  the  Cinder  Road  (West  Onon- 
daga street)  and   terminating  on   the  high  ground. 
The  length  of  this   aqueduct  was  about  a  mile,  and 
it  was  constructed  of  masonry  two  feet  square  in- 
side.    At  the  termination  was  a  large  open  reser- 
voir, capable  of  holding  3,000.000  gallons  of  water, 
from  which  the  water  was  conducted  down  the  hill 
through  brick  culverts  and  stoned  wells  to  a  point 
where  a  log  aqueduct  of  nine  inches  bore  conveyed 
it    through  Onondaga  street  to  Fayette  Park,  and 
thence  to  the  railroad  in  Lock  street,  where  it  con- 
nected with  the  aqueducts  before  laid. 

In  1853,  the  first  iron  pipe  was  laid— 852  rods, 
extending  to  Salina,  around  Fayette  Park  and  on 
James  street.  A  reservoir  of  107  feet  head  above 
the  Erie  Canal  at  Salina  street,  and  of  1,500,000 
gallons  capacity,  was  also  constructed  during  1853. 
This  large  reservoir  on  Onondaga  Hill  was  com- 
menced in  1862,  and  finished  in  1865.  During  this 
latter  year  an  additional  distributing  reservoir  was 
constructed  on  Lot  No.  89,  town  of  Onondaga. 

Without  attempting  to  follow  the  history  of  these 
works  more  in  detail,  we  may  say  that  the  Syracuse 
City  Water  Works  are  located  southwest  of  the 
city  in  the  town  of  Onondaga,  the  water  being  ob- 
tained from  Springs,  from  Furnace  Brook  and  from 
Onondaga  Creek.  The  main  reservoir  is  at  Onon- 
daga Hill,  covering  19  acres,  forty  feet  deep,  and 
fed  by  Furnace  Brook.  There  are  two  Distribut- 
ing Reservoirs— one  of  165  feet  head,  and  the 
other  of  107  feet  head,  above  the  level  of  the  canal 
at  Salina  street.  The  lower,  (107  feet  head) 
is  supplied  by  springs,  and  in  dry  weather  by 
water  pumped  from  Onondaga  Creek  at  the  Pump 
Works.  Two  pumps  are  employed,  viz  :  a  Holly 
Pump  of  3,000,000  gallons  capacity,  and  a  Worth- 
ington  Duplex  Engine  of  10,000,000  gallons  capac- 
ity daily.  These  pumps  are  connected  with  the 
reservoir  by  a  30-inch  cast  iron  pipe.  The  water 
reaches  the  city  by  gravity  pressure  the  mains 
connecting  with  the  reservoirs  being  respectively 
10  inches,  12  inches  and  24  inches  in  diameter. 
For  fire  purposes,  steam  engines  being  employed, 
the  water  is  supplied  by  hydrants  at  the  street 
corners,  and  in  some  instances  at  the  middle  of  the 
blocks. 


^liAjAl  uCnxt 


M*n^ 


'     SKETCH, 


JOHN  WILKINSON 

In  addition  to  the  casual  refere' 
to  the  life  and  services  ot    Mr.  \ 
nection  with  the  history  of  the  city  and  county  in 
which  he  took  so  early  an 
extended  memoir  would  . 
more  than  forty  years  ot  , 

Mr.  'A  .Ikinson  held  a  place  >  none  m  tht 

indiist'iai  and  social  devc'  his  city  and 

counTy,  and  has  left  behn  •int  proofs  ol 

his  ability  and  wisdom,  in  a  tamiiy  trained  to  lives 
of  li-  and  honor  ; .. 

slo'.  onestly  ;  in 

city,  .1':  1  in  many  enterpnst^s  to  which  he  gave  the 
first  impetus,  tending  to  ensure  the  prosp»=rity  of 
Syracuse. 

It  may  be  said  of  IdW  with  truth.  •  and 

and  tongue  and  pen  the 

service  of  the  city  he  i,.:.   ■■ 
create. 

He  was  the  fourth    in   ues(.eii 
Wilkinson  of  Harper' ■    .' '  ' 

Durham,  England.      I 

Lord  Fairfax,  leader  of  the  v  forces, 

wJiile  serving  his  King  v. 

•^afterwards  Duke  of  Ne      .  

battle  of  Marston  Moor.    His  estates  were  sequest- 
ered by  Parliament,  but  be  Ir 
Lord  Fairfax,  and  permitted  t^  „      .-  ' 
In  the  Register's  office  at  Durham  th' 
as  follows,  and  may  still  be  seen  .  "  .V 

in    Durham    1645-47.       La^'- 

Lanchester,  officer  in  arms,  w 

On  his  arrival  in  the  new  worla,  ham.g  Utile  in 


'  '.   settled  in  F  Island.      T'  -■ 

..   '•  First  ~ 

,     lie  year  il^- 
?  iV  ; «/  that  colony, 

was  Jo. 

kinson  mamcu   .. .^.^..      -■t-i 

His  fifth  child  was  Daniel  Wilkinson,  who  was  born 
June  8th,  1703,  in  the  town  of  Smithfield,  part  of 
of  the  present  city  of  Providence.  Daniel  Wilkin- 
son married  Abigail  Inman,  September  22,  1740. 
His  seventh  child  was  named  John  Wilkinson,  born 


Vr>,. 


/>  111  I  .;■,-  T    ■> 


old  wb- 


scot 

the   i'iack 
crueltie-- 
After  I,: 
pai. 
care  >.: 
years  i'; 
to  Trov 


■  ^cv        T,., •..■.,    Wilkinsu:;    married, 
leth     Tower,    whose 
o!  John  Hancock, 
son  was  not  seventeen  years 
arms  resounding  through  the 
ini.ounced    the  Revolution  which 
'       '     '  '■       ■•  :.      He 

iter  the 
n  of  In  e.     By 

1  in  the 
;    harbor, 
these  prisoners, 
'iose  decks 
.L ,  died  by 
■  ;    lays  by 
.   by   the 
onville. 
•ith  im- 
ter  the 
)rsome 
:moved 
lived  there  nine  yens,  and 
■'nciL    iic  iul^jectoi  this  sketch  was  born,  September 

In  February,  1799,  John  Wilkinson,  the  father, 
left  his  home  in  Troy,  to  create  '''  a  new 

one  in   the  then  wilderness  of  Cc ,.    York. 

He  performed  the  long  and  toilsome  joi.  ley  on 
-foot,  leading  a  cow.  ilis  wife  and  lit! le  ones,  to- 
gether with  all  his  bd  •  '  ■  1  :  nods,  rode  upon  a 
sledge  drawn  bv  a  At  a  sunnier 

season  he  h  nc  lovely  lake  of 

■"'    — :     ^  .nd  for  a  'arm  in 

from   its  shores. 
lb  ;o  work  hterally  t!' hew  a 

as  it  proved,  ;;  grave 

.ss   than  if'.-,  years, 

.;ivcd  while  building  a  barn.     He 

..;  u.i  iiis  farm  which  still  rer;  :">  in  the 

•n  a  loe  house,  in  the  nmUt  of  ?      "^at  forest 

Until 

.,        .  oltaneateles. 

s  mother,  not  daunti  a  by  the  additional 
buraen  entailed  upon  herself  in  her  struggle  with 
the  wilderness  for  the  support  of  four  children,  by 
the  loss  of  her  son's  help  upon  the  farm,  or  by  the 
expense  incident  to  the  scheme,  determined  to  give 
him  the  best  education  the  country  afforded  and  to 


HISTORY  OF  ONONDAGA  COUNTY,  NEW  YORK. 


BIOGRAPHICAL   SKETCH, 


JOHN  WILKINSON. 

In  addition  to  the  casual  references  already  made 
to  the  life  and  services  of  Mr.  Wilkinson,  in  con- 
nection with  the  history  of  the  city  and  county  in 
which  he  took  so  early  and  important  a  part,  a  more 
extended  memoir  would  seem  to  be  necessary.  For 
more  than  forty  years  of  active  and  professional  life, 
Mr.  Wilkinson  held  a  place  second  to  none  in  the 
industrial  and  social  development  of  his  city  and 
county,  and  has  left  behind  him  abundant  proofs  of 
his  ability  and  wisdom,  in  a  family  trained  to  lives 
of  usefulness  and  honor  ;  a  large  fortune  accumulated 
slowly  and  honestly  ;  in  buildings  which  adorn  his 
city,  and  in  many  enterprises  to  which  he  gave  the 
first  impetus,  tending  to  ensure  the  prosperity  of 
Syracuse. 

It  may  be  said  of  him  with  truth,  that  his  hand 
and  tongue  and  pen  and  pocket  were  always  at  the 
service  of  the  city  he  named,  loved  and  helped  to 
create. 

He  was  the  fourth  in  descent  from  Lawrance 
Wilkinson  of  Harperly  House,  Lanchester,  County 
Durham,  England.  This  ancestor  was  captured  by 
Lord  Fairfax,  leader  of  the  Parliamentary  forces, 
while  serving  his  King  under  General  Cavendish, 
(afterwards  Duke  of  New  Castle)  at  the  decisive 
battle  of  Marston  Moor.  His  estates  were  sequest- 
ered by  Parliament,  but  he  himself  was  released  by 
Lord  Fairfax,  and  permitted  to  go  to  New  England. 
In  the  Register's  office  at  Durham  the  record  reads 
as  follows,  and  may  still  be  seen  :  "  Sequestrations 
in  Durham  1645-47.  Lawrance  Wilkinson  of 
Lanchester,  officer  in  arms,  went  to  New  England." 

On  his  arrival  in  the  new  world,  having  little  in 
common  with  the  Puritans  of  Massachusetts  Bay, 
by  whose  party  he  had  been  ruined  and  expatriated, 
he  settled  in  Providence,  Rhode  Island.  There 
his  name  may  still  be  seen  in  the  "  First  Book  of 
Records"  as  signed  by  himself  in  the  year  i6so-'5i, 
as  one  of  the  original  founders  of  that  colony. 

He  married  Susannah  Smith.  His  third  child 
was  John  Wilkinson,  born  March  2, 1654.  John  Wil- 
kinson married  Deborah  Whipple,  April  16,  1689. 
His  fifth  child  was  Daniel  Wilkinson,  who  was  born 
June  8th,  1703,  in  the  town  of  Smithfield,  part  of 
of  the  present  city  of  Providence.  Daniel  Wilkin- 
son married  Abigail  Inman,  September  22,  1740. 
His  seventh  child  was  named  John  Wilkinson,  born 


November  13,  1758.  John  Wilkinson  married, 
December  — ,  1782,  Elizabeth  Tower,  whose 
mother  was  a  cousin  of  John  Hancock. 

This  John  Wilkinson  was  not  seventeen  years 
old  when  the  clash  of  arms  resounding  through  the 
civilized  world,  announced  the  Revolution  which 
preceded  the  birth  of  the  new  Republic.  He 
entered  the  service  of  his  country  soon  after  the 
signing  of  the  Declaration  of  Independence.  By 
the  fate  of  war  he  was  captured  and  confined  in  the 
notorious  Jersey  Prison  Ship  in  New  York  Harbor, 
The  records  of  the  sufferings  of  these  prisoners, 
who  were  densely  crowded  between  the  close  decks 
and  even  in  the  noisome  hold,  where  they  died  by 
scores,  have  only  been  surpassed  in  former  days  by 
the  Black  Hole  of  Calcutta,  and  later,  by  the 
cruelties  of  Libby  Prison  and  Andersonville. 
After  nine  months  he  was  exchanged,  but  with  im- 
paired health,  which  was  only  restored  after  the 
care  of  years.  After  his  marriage  he  lived  for  some 
years  in  Cumberland,  R.  I.  In  1790  he  removed 
to  Troy,  N.  Y.  He  lived  there  nine  years,  and 
there  the  subject  of  this  sketch  was  born,  September 
30,  1798. 

In  February,  1799,  John  Wilkinson,  the  father, 
left  his  home  in  Troy,  to  create  for  himself  a  new 
one  in  the  then  wilderness  of  Central  New  York. 
He  performed  the  long  and  toilsome  journey  on 
foot,  leading  a  cow.  His  wife  and  little  ones,  to- 
gether with  all  his  household  goods,  rode  upon  a 
sledge  drawn  by  a  yoke  of  oxen.  At  a  sunnier 
season  he  had  been  attracted  by  the  lovely  lake  of 
Skaneateles  and  had  selected  the  land  for  a  farm  in 
the  midst  of  the  forest  one  mile  from  its  shores. 
Thither  he  came,  and  set  to  work  literally  to  hew  a 
home  for  his  family,  and  also,  as  it  proved,  a  grave 
for  himself;  for  he  died  in  less  than  three  years, 
from  injuries  received  while  building  a  barn.  He 
was  buri